For the last few years, the people of Rossport have been battling Shell's efforts to bring gas ashore and refine it in an area of countryside near their homes. The pipeline itself will travel only 70m from houses. At this distance, any leakage would prove fatal to those living nearby. Shell have bought, from the Irish state a 1000 acre site to "process" the gas. They need only 40 acres for this. This has led to speculation that what is really at stake is oil and the construction of an oil refinery on the site.
Shell effectively shot themselves in the foot last year when they had 5 local men imprisoned for contempt of court. The contempt was because they had engaged in effective direct action - blocking Shell's access to their plant. Until last week no further construction work was possible in Erris.
Last week, the Irish state sent in the heavies, in the form of the guardai, the police, to enforce entry to Shell's refinery site. This was despite a massive picket of upwards of 200 people. The full story is available on the www.indymedia.ie site. Look for www.indymedia.ie/mayo.
The people of Rossport are courageous and well-informed. They are asking for our solidarity. We would like to organise a protest at one of their sites in Manchester on the week commencing October 23rd. At their request, this will be a piece of non-violent direct action.
Manchester Anarchist Federation are meeting on Wednesday 18th October at the Basement, 24 Lever St, Manchester. Starts at 7.30 pm. At the meeting we'd like to discuss the how's and where's of this action.
A member of the Rossport Solidarity camp is in Manchester on the 20th October and two others will be over on November 2nd. On the 2nd November, they will be speaking at the Basement. Our thanks go to our comrades in Solfed for their assistance with this.
As one of the Rossport 5 said to us, if Shell can't be stopped in Co Mayo, where can they be stopped?