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All-Action Shell to Sea Super Sunday – A Tripod, A Lock-On And A Compound Infiltration
Monday June 29, 2009 06:14 by FSB! - Rossport Solidarity Camp
Shell's Cops have their Sunday roasts burnt and pints knocked over by defiant campaigners!
Sunday June 28th saw the most intense burst of direct action against Shell in Erris so far in this phase of the campaign to thwart the Great Gas Robbery and the destruction of Erris along with its community. A tripod on a road bridge near McGrath's Bar held up vital repair gear for the pipeline winching operation for over four hours. This was followed up by a five-person lock-on on the same road a bit nearer the Shell compound. Together, they delayed winching operations for twelve hours, and there were nine arrests in all. Meanwhile, three Solidarity Campers managed to sneak into the Shell compound at Glengad and get out without being arrested.
Shell's Air Corps EC135 P2
At about two o'clock Sunday lunchtime a Rossport Solidarity Camp action team erected a tripod on the road to Shell's Glengad compound, upon a bridge near McGrath's Bar in Pullathomas. This action was executed on foot of information received that the winch gear in Shell's compound had broken down and needed replacement parts and extra gear, all of which was to arrive on a truck convoy travelling the Pullathomas road to Glengad. The first Garda car on the scene revved up attempted to ram the tripod, and this reckless endangerment of the tripod occupier was prevented only by a brave camper standing before the apparatus and compelling the Garda car to stop. The car touched against the shins of the camper as it stopped, once again illustrating the madness of a murder-minded police force drunk on impunity.
Having cautioned the tripod occupier under the public order act, the Gardai then went on to declare an 'exclusion zone' and then roughly pushed out his companions off the road under threat of arrest. They found refuge from Garda harassment in an adjacent field, and from there kept vigil over their colleague, who was being continually endangered by ignorant meddling by the Gardai on the scene with the tripod apparatus. Local people and campers began to arrive to support the tripod occupier, getting as close to him as they could in the fields at either side of the road.
One Garda committed an unprovoked assault on a Solidarity Camper on the road about 100m away from the tripod, tripping him, gashing his hand badly and also leaving him with a bad chest injury. Gardai began attempting to arrest anyone who entered the road anywhere near the tripod, arresting three people without giving them any chance to leave voluntarily. One of the arrestees was acting as a recorder of incidents; his log book was seized by the cops in another act of cynical impunity. The arrests were conducted with no little violence on the part of the Gardai.
In a bizarre interlude during this action, a table and desk was produced from a horsebox-type trailer the Gardai brought to the scene, and four cops in blue hard-hats proceeded to fill in forms on the table. Screens were then erected around the tripod area in a futile attempt to prevent photographing or filming of Garda activity. The Gardai present attempted to question the tripod occupier as if he were already arrested and in custody in a Garda station, which struck many witnesses as an abuse of procedure.
An hour-and-a-half after the tripod was erected, a truck from AGS Scaffolding Ltd. from Crossmolina arrived at the McGrath's Bar side of the tripod. Not coincidentally, the AGS stands for Anthony Gill Scaffolding, and Anthony Gill is the brother of Garda Sgt James Gill, an ever-present menace to the citizens of Erris. Furthermore, from the nature of the equipment the scaffolders brought with them and the manner in which the scaffolders worked with the cops, it can be reasonably suspected that this company's personnel have trained alongside Gardai for this kind of 'work'.
After two hours or so of platform building by the scaffolders two Garda detectives climbed up and began to remove the tripod occupier. The manner in which they effected the arrest was calculated to inflict injury and displayed a level of petulant spitefulness that the people of Kilcommon and surrounding parishes have endured for far too long. The tripod successfully blocked the road for nearly four hours and the dismantling of the scaffolding platform must have added another 90 minutes of road blockage to this.
Within an hour of the tripod being dismantled and before the truck convoy could get any farther, a lock-on team from the Solidarity Camp got into position on the road only 300m or so from the gates of the Shell compound. Even though it was raining steadily in the evening gloom, the Gardai supplied only an insufficient quantity of cover for the protestors, who were soaked to the skin within minutes of locking-on. Supporters from the camp and the local area began to gather at the site, and then about an hour into the action, the number of Gardai began increasing. The Gardai used their numbers to begin progressively pushing people back using threats of arrest under the public order act, and once again erected screens and tents to block the view of people supporting the lock-on team, and to frustrate filming and photographing of their actions.
The Gardai assented to allowing an observer to remain with the lock-on team, but then cynically removed her under the pretence of arresting her for the 'crime' of having a mobile phone passed to her from an outside supporter. She was searched (no doubt illegally), dragged out and put into a Garda van for almost a quarter of an hour, and was then released from Garda captivity. The cops then proceeded to begin cutting out the lock-on team.
The lock-on was disassembled finally only at around a quarter to two on Monday morning. By this time, the two actions on the road had delayed Shell by a full twelve hours. It had also spoiled the plans and pricked the arrogance of Shell's cops, who were serially outwitted by brave and committed Shell to Sea campaigners. The tripod action arrestees and two of the five lock-on arrestees were brought to Ballina Garda station, and the other three lock-on arrestees were brought to Castlebar Garda station. At the time of writing the four tripod arrestees have been remanded in Garda custody and will be up in Westport district court later today. It is not yet known whether the other five have been remanded or released.
Meanwhile on Sunday evening as the lock-on action was happening, three Solidarity Campers drove into the Shell compound when the metal front gates were opened for other traffic, utilising the technique of 'social camouflage' to seize the opportunity presented. The campers got to the second internal set of gates and were about to have them opened for them when they were recognised. Gardai threatened to tow the car out, but eventually the campers were allowed to drive out and were not arrested. With the kayak team making the Solitaire run away on Thursday evening and now this penetration of the Glengad Shell compound, not only are the mercenary 'security firm' IRMS fascist scum, they are crap fascist scum too!
Shell's Garda eye in the sky
Tripod in place
Maybe if I ignore the tripod it it'll magically go away?
'Gregeen' on filming duties again.