A mass trespass stops work, one person on top of a digger for 4 hours
Today 25 people from Rossport Solidarity Camp sustained a barrage of actions against the site Shell is preparing for its tunnel boring machine. Despite 80 security and three vans of gardaí they were unable to keeps the protesters out. In the chaos that ensued one person got through the lines to d-lock themselves to one of the diggers and remained up there stopping work for 4 hours. Elsewhere other diggers had to stop working as protestors approached.
Con Coughlan, one of those who one of those who breached security said, “It was an incredible day. We pushed and pushed. No matter how many times they dragged us out we kept going back. People were coming from the back, others were launching themselves over the fences at the front.”
The day started at 2pm with three separate groups coming from different directions. From early on they began being carried out of the compound by private security, but this was no deterrent with people simply dusting themselves off and going back around. Despite their much greater numbers, security struggled to keep up with the constant pressure. Numerous weaknesses in the site perimeter were found and used to keep people coming in.
It was in a moment of chaos that one person found the opportunity to slip under a fence and made the dash for the nearest digger. Security, caught on the hop, despite holding off a number of other protesters, failed to stop her getting on top and using a d-lock she had brought with her to attach her neck to the roof section. She then settled down for a nap while the rest got on with the day. She was there for four hours and was not arrested.
Most of the work going on was to build the palisade fencing for the inner compound of the site. This is being supplied and installed by Shevlins Engineering.
Grainne Bradaigh , another of those who found a way in said, “We had fun. It was really very empowering. You could see how effective we were being from the way the workers were so frustrated. It was the first time I've done something like this, but I'm definitely up for it again. The gardaí were outside acting as private security for the tractors coming in, but there was nothing they could to do to stop us inside Shell's compound.”
Actions have been taking place against Shell in co. Mayo all summer, opposing the construction of a pipeline that will pump high pressure gas through the beautiful Broadhaven Bay. It is part of a broader campaign by locals and those who support their efforts, that has been going on for ten years. Since May a camp has been established above the important site at Aughoose. It is open to all – if you are interested in coming along, please visit the website at www.rossportsolidaritycamp.org or contact the camp 085 114 1170