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International Delegation and Local Priests Support Rossport Men

category mayo | environment | press release author Monday May 19, 2008 15:53author by Mark C Report this post to the editors

This is a press release from Denny Larson and Global Community Monitor

Fishermen's Fight for Freedom Continues in Court Battle on Day of Shell AGM

(Rossport, County Mayo, Ireland) Three Rossport fishermen who were battered by Garda during a peaceful march in full view of witnesses and independent cameramen will have their appeal heard in court in Castelbar, Tuesday May 20, 2008. Local priests and an International delegation have joined in support of the men and the local resistance to the Shell pipeline and refinery. On the same date, May 20th, neighbors of Shell will protest at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) in both London and Holland.

In 2007, the Global Community Monitor led an international delegation from South Africa, Holland and the USA to Rossport and witnessed the brutal behavior of the Garda towards peaceful protestors. The delegation issued an independent report documenting the Garda actions and the widespread feelings of residents that their community is "under siege." The report is available on the web at: http://www.gcmonitor.org/article.php?id=598.

Since that date the European Union and the Garda Ombudsman have confirmed the report and recommended action to change the Garda policy of non-arrest and the tactics of beating protestors. Recently the Irish Courts have upheld the complaints of protestors by dismissing legal actions against Ed Collins, calling the police allegations "confusing."

"All of this violence and struggle by the Garda at the urging of Shell is unnecessary," said Denny Larson, Director of Global Community Monitor. "Had Shell chosen the right location for their pipeline and refinery, they would have full community support and this struggle would not exist."

Local priests are supporting the fishermen, Fathers Michael Mallen and Sean Noone have submitted a letter to the Court stating: "Having been ignored in the efforts to protect the marine ecology and fish life, the community felt their was no other option to highlighting their grievance other than public protest. It was for participating in that worth cause that Patrick O'Donnell, Jonathan O'Donnell and Enda Carey are charged."

Civil Servants who have worked with Pat O'Donnell have taken issue with the Garda's characterization of him as someone capable of attacking the police. For example, Mr. Pat Burke, former Sea Fishery Officer at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources stated in a letter to the Court: "In circumstances where he disagreed, I found him to be up front, measured proportionate and helpful, avoiding incitement of others and directed toward resolution. In my dealings with him, I found him honest and straight forward."

"We've brought from South Africa our full support for these fishermen. We are not strangers to fighting for free speech and for the police to protect our rights instead of Shell's," said Desmond D'sa of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA). Mr. D'sa is a neighbor of Shell's massive refinery in South Durban, which began as a small operation and has grown to be the largest on the African continent.

author by Mark Cpublication date Mon May 19, 2008 16:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some quotes from the piece:

“The plan to develop the area seems ill thought-out.”

“The siting of the project has created environmental problems already, with the pollution of the lake.”

“It’s being done primarily by companies in order to save money. It doesn’t seem like oil companies really need to be saving money right now: they should be spending more and cleaning up their pollution and doing things in a cleaner, better way.”

“We found it quite shocking that the police in Erris had a policy of not arresting people who were being civil disobedient.”

“People were being shoved and beaten when they were peacefully protesting.”

“The police do not have a choice about wether to enforce the law for civil disobedience: …they need to apply the law fairly to everyone.”

“We agree with the ombudsman: there’s an unneccessary amount of police complaints up there: it needs further investigation by the justice department: so far the justice minister has refused to do that.’

“The protesters are very well organised and they’re not not putting themselves in harm’s way. They’re acting in a very professional way … The police response by comparison is not. There’s pushing; there’s shoving.”

“They need to provide the police there with the training they need.”

“They should be trained in crowd control and the proper handling of civil disobedience.”

“I don’t think they need to be permanently available; in fact if they were handling the proest in the right way and were fully trained they might find that ther’d be a change in the situation.”

“They handled the situation very badly, just as originally Shell handled the situation very badly with the Rossport 5.”

“There is the law about how you handle civil disobedience and it’s not being handled that way. That’s why many cases have being dismissed.”

“There is much evidence that the police have not handled the situation right and have not followed the law.”

“They weren’t seeking to be beat up and they shouldn’t deserve to be beat up under the law. They should be allowed to be civil disobedient.”

“The Garda Ombudsman has affirmned that the Department of Justice should review the way the protests are handled and that should happen soon.”

audio denny_larson_on_pat_kenny_15_05_08.m4a 6.1 Mb

author by shell to hellpublication date Mon May 19, 2008 17:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

if you have problems with the sound file above, the whole interview is on youtube.ie/shelltohell

(It had to be put up in two parts because of the length of it)

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtSPZESIcLg
author by Shell to Hellpublication date Mon May 19, 2008 17:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More Denny Larson on Pat Kenny show on youtuube.ie/shelltohell

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybsm3sZkwmw
author by Nostradamuspublication date Mon May 19, 2008 22:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat (the chief) O'Donnell and his comrades will get either a suspended sentence,deferred, or acquitted tomorrow, it doesn't matter if their guilty or not.
The state will decide to forego the trouble of convicting them, because of the undoubted negative PR for the project, and refuse to create "martyrs".
If I am wrong I promise to publish my full name and address, and apologies to you.
(but remember "I" am seldom wrong!).


author by Eamonn O'Coilea'in - Republic of Irelandpublication date Mon May 19, 2008 23:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good luck Patrick, and the lads who stood up for their rights by protesting, for the right to keep the seas around the coast free from heavey metals which will posion the waters; that will posion the fish and shell fish. It is a real shame that the state would back this highly pollutionous industry in the west coast of Ireland. Confused you bet they are, not telling the truth, you bet they are, beating and assaulting peaceful protesters, you bet they were, is totally unexpected and against the law that they serve. One law for them and the rest of us can be beaten off the road so they can build a massive refinery, piece by piece, which is also illegal, untill the whole of Erris is destroyed beyond belief, ANY WAY I'll say another pray to the ANCESTORS and sea if their listening, god bless you all in the mornin.

author by Guy Gassonetpublication date Mon May 19, 2008 23:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nostradamus, we're still waiting for your big name who was supposed to come out in support of the Shell scheme. were you misled or did you just make it up? you often post late at night- is it the bottle talking ?

Having said that, I hope you are right about tomorrow's verdict.

author by C McCpublication date Tue May 20, 2008 10:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Best wishes to Pat, Jonathan & Enda, & all there who have had the courage to stand up for their rights & for Erris & its beautiful, irreplaceable environment.
The conduct of the Gardai has been beyond shameful, & the more they misbehave & are seen to get away with it, the less appealing a Garda career becomes to any decent cops & potential recruits.

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