Come up to Mayo! Protests are continuous...
Monday 25th July Shell intended to begin constructing a permanent compound in Aughoose from which to begin laying the offshore pipeline. However in a statement to Midwest radio Shell commented that works had been 'severely impeded' on Monday. Between a 5½ hour tripod blockade in the morning and loads of protesters on bicycles and on foot, the roads remained shut down for quite a lot of the day.
The tripod was erected at 7am and the road was blocked until about 12.30pm. AGS scaffolding, a company owned by the brother of Sergeant James Gill, was called in to erect scaffolding around the tripod and the person who had climbed the tripod was arrested and charged. That was the only arrest on Monday. When the person in the tripod asked Sergeant Butler how she was going to be brought down the ladder, he responded that she would 'be handcuffed, your ankles will be cable-tied and you'll be manhandled down the ladder.'
After the tripod was taken away at least 10 tractors were either stopped or delayed throughout the day. Cyclists were cycling slowly in front of tractors bringing fencing and bog mats into the Aughoose compound, and sometimes climbing up on top of tractors to stop them from bringing in their loads. Every single vehicle that left Shell's Bellanaboy refinery Monday had a police escort. The Gardai were trying to move the cyclists off the road but found it very difficult to keep up with the cyclists when they were on foot, and were unable to do much when they were in a vehicle.
After a few hours of cyclists slowing down tractors and people climbing them, the gardai began stealing people's bikes. After four bikes were taken off of cyclists, people began hiding in ditches and jumping out when a tractor and trailer would drive by, climbing on top to block the road.
Overall Monday was a pretty amazing day of protesting, see the many photos for a better idea of what went on. So far as of 11.30am on Tuesday, only two tractor trailers bringing bog mats and fencing have successfully entered the compound at Aughoose. There was an arm tube lock-on in the morning, but no arrests. Since then people have been hiding along the road from Bellanaboy refinery to the compound at Aughoose, jumping out to stop tractors and climbing on top. Currently one person is on top of a tractor which is blocking the road from both directions. The person has been up there for over an hour so far.
Since the tripod person no arrests have been made, yet work has been massively delayed by protesters. The protests will be continuous, so come up and show your support! There will be a mass day of action this Friday 29th of July, but come up sooner if you're able.
The camp is in Aughoose, between Pollatomish and Bellanaboy.
To contact: rossportsolidaritycamp[at]gmail[dot]com or 0851141170