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Rossport Solidarity Picket in Reading

Shell Out! | 17.09.2007 13:56 | Rossport Solidarity | Climate Chaos | Ecology | Social Struggles

On Friday 14th September, Reading Grassroots Action and others from around Reading took part in a picket of a lcoal Shell garage. This picket was made in solidarity with the anti-pipeline/refinery community struggle taking place in Rossport, Ireland.

We protested for about an hour on the forecourt, giving out many leaflets to drivers. The Police arrived just as we left.

The following leaflet was given out:


In County Mayo, Ireland, a business coalition led by Shell Oil - with the approval of the Irish government and full protection by the police - are planning to:

- Forcibly take land from local residents and build an experimental high pressure gas pipeline (at four times the usual pressure) running next to homes and destroying rare eco-systems. The pipe will run through boggy land with a history of landslides. In Mexico, a pipeline of lower pressure exploded, killing twelve people.

- Construct a gas refinery on unstable bog, using previously untried methods to stabilise the bog surface. Emissions from the refinery will badly pollute the nearby Carrowmore Lake, source of the regional water supply. Concrete being used in the construction has already been found to be faulty.

- Pump toxic waste into Broadhaven Bay, the source of local fishermen's livelihoods. A research team found that Broadhaven Bay was an important breeding and rearing area for dolphins and whales.
Normal and best practice is to refine the gas offshore, bringing it ashore at much lower pressure. Yet, the government is happy with the danger to local people and is giving Irish gas away for practically nothing, forcing the Irish people to pay the costs. But things are not going to plan...

Shell hoped to have the whole thing up and running by 2003. Yet, with extraordinary courage, local people have protested, blockaded and refused to comply. To date, no work has been able to start on the pipeline, and hardly any work has happened on the refinery.

In 2005, five local farmers were jailed for not allowing Shell on their land, one farmer has suffered a stroke after intimidation by Shell contractors and in late 2006 extreme police violence was used against protestors. However, blockades by local people conitnue taking place every morning and last month, activists from UK took part in an occupation of the site, along with local people and others, stopping work for two hours. This is costing Shell millions!

Today is a day of action against Shell. About 200 people blockaded the refinery this morning by sitting in the entrance way. Roughly 170 then entered the site and stood on machinery to stop work. Unfortunately, riot police are once again protecting the corporation instead of citizens, and there has been heavy violence against peaceful protestors, and several brutal arrests. In spite of this, the sit-down blockade continued, stopping all deliveries to the site.

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