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Picket begins again in Rossport

h | 29.08.2008 17:53

Shell to Sea protesters stepped up their campaign against Shell’s offshore pipe-laying operations by mounting a picket at the Shell compound, Glengad, Erris Co Mayo, Ireland.

A daily picket was maintained at the Bellanaboy refinery site from the summer of 2005 till recently. This is the first time since 2005 that a picket has been staged at the Shell 'Security Zone' in Glengad. The picket started at 7am and lasted till 9am, during which time Shell security, who were ready to leave after their overnight shift, remained on site for the duration. Shell workers arriving for work at the site remained outside. The picket was stood down voluntarily at 9am and the workers left and entered the compound consequently.

The original Bellanaboy picket was effectively broken by the unlawful and violent behaviour of An Garda Síochána which began on October 3rd, 2006 and continued through 2007. The Bellanaboy picket diminished significantly during that whole period and into 2008, understandably, because of a sustained assault by the State against its own citizens, resulting in much physical, emotional and psychological injury to the community and its supporters.

Today’s picket saw the return of many on the receiving end of that attack and it has to be said that the women of Erris, many of whom have been brutalised by An Garda Síochána in the past, were the first to return to the camp and the refreshed picket.

Meanwhile, a Shell to Sea marine team took to the water from Inver pier to pay a visit to some Shell & Garda boats moored off Ballyglass pier on the opposite side of that stretch of water. Apologies, no pics in this report yet of that little expedition. Maybe later.

No sign of the Solitaire yet, probably due to the following factors:

1) Bad weather.

2) The Chief Pat O’Donnell’s successful defence of his pots from Shell thieves aboard the Highland Navigator. Pat’s gear remains in the path of the Solitaire and perhaps only the ruling of a judge can resolve that dispute, unless the Solitaire steams through regardless.

3) Stiff and growing resistance.