Articles on the struggle against the experimental gas pipeline that Shell are trying to impose on the people living on the shores of the Sruwaddacon Estuary in Erris, Co. Mayo and on the Great Oil & Gas Giveaway

Resisting the lure of the Freeman movement


The last few years have seen a significant growth in the Freeman of the Land movement. Increasingly, its voice is being heard at environmental and other anarchist based protests and events, from the various UK climate camps to Rossport Solidarity Camp. 

Nebulous in its nature, its promise of ways of claiming back power from the state is clearly seductive. Indeed, on a superficial level, it even looks quite like anarchism in action. The aims of the Freemen movement is to use a particular interpretation of the legal system against the government in the name of gaining back freedoms and advantages.

GSOC & the ‘Garda rape threat tape’ - who watches the watchmen


During the week the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission released an interim report on the Garda rape threat tape recordings that were revealed last April. The report contains a major error that suggests GSOC are the source of repeated attempts to spin the story in the media as somehow being the fault of the women the Garda were recorded discussing threatening to rape. The timing of the release of the report was also suspect, coming in the week Shell resumed construction and the day before a national day of action in Erris durig which four Shell to Sea campaigners were injured by Garda and/or private security violence. Such was the level of spin applied that some media made the mistake of leading with the news that the Garda had been cleared of something no one had ever accused them of, directly threatening the two women with rape.

Day of action in Erris - Shell's fences pulled down, security & police turn violent


Around 100 Shell to Sea campaigners took part in a national day of action today in Erris with a WSM member at the scene reporting that all work has been stopped and several fences had been pulled down.  At least four campaigners were been injured by Garda and private security, at least two of these have gone to hospital.  One of these appears to have serious head injuries.

Audio interview from Shell to Sea campaigner during todays direct action

Interview with Ray, a WSM member who took part in the day of action against Shell's compound in Erris this morning.  He reports on what happened this morning and also the successful actions carried out all week which have "really stopped the progress Shell hoped to make".
He gives a description of Garda and private security numbers as well as describing the injuries received by one campaigner inside the compound.

Shell resume work at Aughoose - national day of action called


Rossport Solidarity Camp (RSC) reported Friday morning that Shell was finally resumed work at the compound in Aughoose. In response a national day of a action has been called for 29th July. The compound in Aughoose is where Shell intend to start digging the tunnel to house a section of the experimental high pressure raw gas pipeline that has been opposed for a decade by the local community.

Hundreds gather in Erris for the Party Against the Pipe


The June bank holiday weekend saw hundreds traveling to Erris for the Party Against the Pioe festival organised by the Rossport Solidarity Camp. The festival was held beside the Shell construction compound at Aghoose, where the tunnel for the last stage of their controversial experimental raw gas pipeline is to be started. This compound has been the site of many protests, including one earlier in the week when security punched a female Shell to Sea campaigner in the face.

Shell's bog road torn up at Rossport Solidarity Camp weekend


The May bank holiday saw the annual Rossport Solidarity Camp gathering, this year across the road from the new Shell compound at Arghoos in Erris. As has become traditional the gathering combined a direct action with workshops and socializing. On the Sunday most of those present went to the launch of fisherman's Pat O'Donnell's new boat. There was a constant Garda presence around the camp throughout the weekend but despite the destruction of some 60m of Shell's bog road no arrests were made.

Erris: Annual Shell to Sea gathering May bank holiday


Erris: The Rossport Solidarity Camp have called the annual Shell to Sea Summer Gathering for the May Bank Holiday weekend this year so that it happens while key construction is still underway.  Shell to Sea campaigners from around Ireland will be travelling to the camp for a weekend of protest and meetings, come and join us.  Local Shell to Sea groups will be helping people to travel, already Dublin are running a bus down on the Friday.

Dail protest at Garda rape threat audio


A couple of hundred people turned out in the sunshine this afternoon to show solidarity with the women who are spoken about in the Garda rape comment audio which was released earlier this week. The message of todays event, which was organised by an ad hoc group of organisations and individuals concerned with justice, equality, and women's and human rights under the heading 'Say no to the trivialisation of rape', was that rape is not a joke. Organiser Susan Ms McKay from the National Women's Council said: "Jokes about rape are never funny. Rape is recognised in law as being second only to murder in terms of gravity. An Garda Síochána are responsible for upholding the law and for protecting the public. Their behaviour must be exemplary, and they must respect the people they serve. That includes women. We are half the population, and we are the majority of the population at risk when it comes to crimes of sexual violence."

Not getting the context of the Corrib gardai rape tape remarks


An editorial in Thursday's Irish Times titled "Loose talk or malice?" accepted the interpretation that the Gardai recorded on the Corrib video were simply making a private joke about rape. The editorial found that unacceptable but less serious then previous "corrupt and illegal actions by a small number of its members." The attitude of the Irish Times that all that is at issue is some off colour joking has been reflected by other commentators. Some like Kevin Myers can be dismissed as pro-Shell loons but others who have taken this line seem genuine and therefore must not have given much thought to the context these remarks were made in. The context being both the circumstances these particular women found themselves in (in the power of the Garda concerned) and the general pattern of Garda repression of protest around the Corrib project.

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