Shell to Sea Day of Solidarity – November 11

On 10 November 2006, the Shell to Sea campaign organised its first major day of solidarity in Erris, county Mayo against Shell’s proposed gas refinery. Hundreds of people travelled from across Ireland and further afield in support of the demand by locals that the installation be moved offshore.

The peaceful protest by the Shell to Sea campaigners was met by indiscriminate Garda violence. Protestors were baton charged, kicked and shoved, and thrown into ditches at the side of the road.

Speaking at the time, cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson said, “The sit-down protest is a long established, legitimate form of non-violent direct action, used by political activists the world over. It is, by its very nature, peaceful, placing the protesters in an entirely exposed position that represents no threat to the Gardaí. Despite this the Gardaí have responded with brute force by quite literally kicking the people off the road.”

Garda violence has become the all too common response by the state to protests by campaigners and the local community over the past five years. More recently they have been joined by the I-RMS, a private army that is accountable to no-one.

Regardless, the campaign against Shell’s refinery in Mayo, and the giveaway of oil and gas resources by the 26-County government, has continued unabated. This Friday [November 11], Shell to Sea are organising a day of solidarity to mark the fifth anniversary of the first Garda baton charge against protestors.

They will also mark the fifteenth anniversary of the murder of the Ogoni Nine – Ken Saro-Wiwa, Barinen Klobel, John Kpuinen, Baribor Bera, Saturday Dobee, Felix Nuate, Nordu Eawo, Paul Levurah and Daniel Gbokoo – who were executed in Nigeria for their opposition to Shell’s operations in the Niger Delta.

There will be a protest outside Shell HQ on Leeson Street in Dublin on Thursday [November 10] from 11am to mark these events.

The day of solidarity will take place all day Friday at the Shell refinery site in Bellanaboy. Dublin Shell to Sea are also organising a bus, which will leave the city centre at 6pm on Thursday evening. For more information, contact 086 736 2417.

On Saturday, November 12, éirígí in Belfast will hold a picket at the Topaz filling station on the Andersonstown Road from 3.30pm in support of the Shell to Sea campaign.


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