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In defence of Rossport camp

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 In defence of Rossport camp SIR - On behalf of the participants in the Rossport Solidarity Camp, I wish to challenge the articles appearing in the Irish Mail on Sunday of November the 26 th. They are the work of a journalist who spent a few days on the camp posing as a supporter of the campaign, prompted to visit the area after being outraged by the actions of the Gardaí at Bellanaboy on November the 10 th. As well as being riddled with misquotes and factual inaccuracies, the articles seriously misrepresent the nature of the Shell to Sea campaign and the Rossport Solidarity Camp. He infers that participants in the camp are promoting the use of violent tactics and draws unfounded comparisons with the tactics of certain animal rights campaigners and paramilitaries, despite failing to provide any evidence of a link between these tactics and those of Shell to Sea. The Rossport Solidarity Camp was set up in spring 2005 with the full co-operation of local campaigners and since then has worked hand in hand with the community. It operates by an ethos with which all visitors to the camp are asked to abide. Alcohol or drugs are not permitted on the camp; we act only with the support and participation of local campaigners and endeavor to have as low an impact as possible on the area where the camp is based. The camp is an open space for any supporter of Shell to Sea, or anyone interested in learning more about the issues involved: this is why it was so easy for a journalist to come and sit in on meetings and take advantage of the reception shown by campers and locals. As the reality was obviously not exciting enough for him, he presents a false picture of the camp and the campaign. The camp advocates non-violent direct action. Despite admitting that the camp does not encourage violence, the author tries to infer that “direct action “ will lead to violence-this is a misrepresentation of that expression. Direct action includes such things as strikes, walk-outs, pickets and sit down blockades – all of which have been used successfully and peacefully in the past, by groups such as the Dunnes Stores workers who opposed dealing with the South African Apartheid era regime in the eighties, or Civil Rights campaigners in the sixties. Is mise le meas, Jennifer Mc Fadden (on behalf of the Rossport Solidarity Camp) Rossport Solidarity Camp, Glengad, Ballina,

Posted Date: 
7 December 2006 - 9:23am