Connaught

8 years of intense struggle against Shell - June 2013 week of action

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The first direct actions of the Erris struggle against Shell took place 8 years ago when 6 locals were injuncted and then 5 of them jailed for refusing to allow Shell onto their lands.  In the 8 years that have passed there have been countless direct actions, dozens of arrests, about two dozen jailings and hundreds of people attacked by Garda or Shell's security company IRMS.  But as the first two days of the week of action demonstrated that intense level of repression over so many years has yet to end effective resistance.

Garda - "Give me your name and address or I’ll rape you"

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Give me your name and address or I’ll rape you - the words of a Garda Sgt as he discussed with at least two other Gardai how they were going to interrogate one of two female Shell to Sea campaigners they had arrested and who were being brought to Belmullet Garda station. Just second earlier while they were discussing how to interrogate the women one Garda suggested they threaten her with deportation. The Sgt responds with the addition of the rape threat which he repeats before another so far unidentified Garda chimes in with “hold it there, give me your name and address there, I’ll rape you” prompting the Sgt to repeat it one last time as “or I’ll definitely rape you.” [Listen to the 2 minute audio]

Rossport Solidarity Camp and the struggle against Shell

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 The Rossport Solidarity Camp was established in the summer of 2005 and since then has provided an important focus for campaigners travelling to Mayo to support the local struggle. Here we speak to Sean Mallory, a WSM member who has spent a considerable amount of time at the camp, about his experiences. Please note that the views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Camp. 

(Pic A night down the local pub during a solidarity weekend)

An introduction to the struggle in Rossport against the Shell pipeline

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For over a year since 2005 members of the WSM and many others from the anarchist/libertarian milieu have been heavily involved in a struggle by a small community in a rural part of Ireland against the construction of a gas refinery by the consortium of Shell, Marathon and Statoil being carried out with the full support of the Irish State.

Why the Shell pipeline at Rossport is not safe

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A WSM member looks at why the people of Rossport don't take Shell's assurances that the high pressure gas pipeline being imposed on them is safe. Of primary concern to the people of Rossport for the last 6 years has been their personal safety. Many other very important issues of national importance have been raised but this still is at the core of the struggle. Until very recently it was proposed that gas would be pumped, untreated, straight from the field through the pipe and by houses many of which are less than seventy metres away. Never in history has gas been “transmitted” through an inhabitated area at completely uneven and unpredictable pressure up to a massive 345 bars.

Protesting racism in Rooskey

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Rooskey - when I heard the name, it triggered some flicker of recollection. A memory was stirred. As it turned out, it is not far from where my mother's family come from. I had a cousin who grew up in a nearby Longford village, I had actually cycled through this place. So it vaguely came back to me, and I remembered the bridge spanning the Shannon, as that great river flows onto Lough Ree and down towards Athlone. My mother's people grew up around that Lough. I’ve spent summers listening to the wind whistling through the telephone wires. Today I was on my way to an anti-racist protest.

In defiance of government spin nurses cry Enough is enough

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The West’s awake, so too the other provinces, as defiant nurses and midwives take to the picket lines. Buoyed by massive public support, members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) took part in their first strike in 20 years.

Generally feeling undervalued and suffering the effects of prolonged understaffing and hospital overcrowding these workers counter-intuitively withdrew their labour in the first of a series of 24-hour work stoppages.

Known for their dedication and immense sense of good will which has for decades covered up the cracks in a health service that itself seems to be in ill-health, this female dominated profession has once again risen up to say “Enough is enough!”

Emergency gas flaring at Corrib refinery as unscented raw gas allowed into grid

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Emergency gas flaring has had to take place at the Corrib refinery because unscented gas was allowed into the national grid. Terence Conway of Shell to Sea reports from the gates of the refinery in the video.

Co. Clare mobilises for the March for Choice - interviews from Ennistymon

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We caught up with abortion rights activists in Clare as they held a public information stall in Ennistymon, they will be running buses to the Sept 30th March for Choice in Dublin. [Video]

Fascists fail to stir hate as Ballaghaderreen says welcome to refugees

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The small town of Ballaghaderreen recently found out that it would be welcoming some 82 refugees in the near future.  About half of these are minors and most of those are under 12 including 13 under the age of 4.  There were the predictable attempts by neo-nazis to whip up hate online and someone even distributed about 80 British fascist leaflets in the town.  But rather than hate taking hold the town held a standing room only welcoming meeting last Thursday.  We asked one of the organisers, Jessamine O Connor,  to tell us how this happened.

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