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Shell to Sea protest at Bellanaboy and Belmullet 1st Feb. 2008

Shell to Sea protest at Bellanaboy and Belmullet
mayo | environment | news report Dé Sathairn Feabhra 02, 2008 09:09 by Rudiger

Short summary of yesterdays Day of Solidarity in Erris.
The hail showers did nothing to dampen spirits
To coincide with Shell announcing their annual profits (of around €18 billion), yesterday morning around 80 people gathered at Bellanaboy to show their continued opposition to Shell's plans for Mayo. Facing a biting wind and showers of hail and snow, the protestors highlighted the fact that even with all this profit, Shell still haven't clean up their act. As if the elements weren't bad enough, the protestors also had to contend with being outnumbered by about 2 to 1 by the heroic guardians of the State. This local day of protest against Shell was met with a excessive Garda presence of at least a 150 to act as private security for Shell. Of course the whole Corrib project fails to benefit the people of Ireland and all Shell's construction costs are written off against tax. At around 9.30am a section of the protestors went in to Belmullet to continue their protest and to hand out leaflets regarding Shell's deadly record. Around 30 people stood around the main roundabout and received a very positive response. They waited until all their leaflets were handed out, before retiring for some well earned warm tea & coffee around 12.30pm. At first, the Gardai continued to use overkill tactics but soon realised they can't get away with this in the full view of Belmullet. Despite the bitter weather, there was lots of support and it felt a good success.One distasteful aspect to the day was the fact that, for the first time, members of the Rossport Solidarity Camp were prevented from making their way to Bellanaboy gates. On 3 separate routes the camp van was blocked from making their way to the picket. Initially the gardaí sought to open up the back of the camp van without quoting a necessary section of law. Under the Road Traffic Act, the guards don't have authority to search a vehicle even though this hasn't stopped them doing it on many occasions around the Bellanaboy area. At the initial road block, the guard also opened both the drivers and a side door before he was told that this behaviour was not allowed. When questionned, the gardaí kept on quoting the Road Traffic Act and gave the driver of the van the choice of either turning around or allowing the gardaí to search the vehicle. The driver refused both these options and stayed where he was for a considerable time on each occasion. As a matter of principle, the driver refused to allow a vehicle search unless they quoted a sufficient law. On numerous occasions the gardaí directed the driver to leave. However it shows the shaky ground that the gardaí knew they were on as they never cautioned the driver that he would be arrested.Overall the 6 camp members in the van tried for over 2 hours (from around 7-9am) to try to get to the gates during which time many cars were simply waved through without being searched. They were stopped on 5 different occasions and on each occasion anything from 3 to 6 garda vans and squads were around the van. At the Bellanaboy bridge car park, passengers in the van questioned both one of the gardaí who stopped them and an Inspector in charge. At one stage the garda stated the "Offences against the State" gave them authority to search the vehicle, while the Inspector stated that 'Common Law' gave them the authority. The driver confirmed that the only law quoted at him was the Road Traffic Act which the Inspector basically admitted didn't give them the authority to search. The gardaí often claim that they are there to uphold the right to peacefully protest but this event clearly showed a complete misuse of power. However this failed to distract protestors from highlighting Shell's €18bn profit at the expense of community's worldwide. Overall it was a very positive day and a nice start to the spring.
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Corruption !!!!!!
Fine soft day

Text from the leaflet handed out
by Rudiger Sath Feabh 02, 2008 09:30
Shell profits rise - Ireland gets 0%Shell has announced record profits of €18 billion for the year, that’s €49.3 million per day! Shell has stated that it is too expensive to refine at sea. However, Shell’s profits clearly show this is untrue and unbelievably, the Irish law was changed so that all their building costs can be written off against tax! Increased cost to refine at sea = €360 million That’s about one week of Shell’s profits!It is clear that these vast profits come at the expense of the countries, communities and environments that Shell operate. Look at the disasters of Russia and Nigeria...will you allow Shell to do this here? In Texas, where Shell operates a large oil refinery, medical surveys have found that 70% of the town’s inhabitants have associated medical complaints.Shell always put profits firstShell in fact has the worse workforce death record of all the major oil companies. Company 2003 Deaths 2004 Deaths 2005 Deaths 2006 DeathsExxon Mobil 23 6 8 10Shell 45 37 36 37BP 20 11 27 7Workforce deaths for the 3 biggest oil & gas companiesIf Shell care so little for the lives of their own workers, do you trust them to prioritise the safety of our community?So far in Erris we know that every single water monitoring report carried out by Mayo County Council is above the limits for aluminium since Shell removed peat from Bellanaboy. The water from the Bellanaboy refinery site goes directly into Carrowmore Lake. Shell acknowledged responsibility for this problem and installed the Axonics water treatment plant. However, it was unable to cope with the demand during Shell’s peat haulage and so the aluminium levels have increased and the problem has worsened.The Scottish EPA (who has licensed numerous refineries in Scotland) has stated that a refinery which falls within the catchment area of a drinking water supply would not get permission to operate in Scotland.Consent cannot be boughtShell has recently announced their new wish “to be a good neighbour”. Sending 5 men to jail for trying to protect their community was not a great start! And things haven’t improved since then. Shell have not taken on board our concerns and continue to ignore the people who are threatened with this experimental project on their doorstep. Shell is still intent on forcing through a raw gas pipeline through unstable land in close proximity of houses and a school. “No other country in the world has given the oil company’s such favourable terms” Mike Cunningham, former Statoil director We deserve a better deal: Don’t take Shell’s crumbs!Given the obscenely generous terms at which Shell got the Corrib Gas, it’s no surprise that Shell are happy to give out a few college scholarships and grants here and there. Instead our natural resources should be going to benefit our education and health systems and country as a whole. In the early 70’s, Norway chose to use their natural resources to benefit their people and today the country ranks as having the best quality of life in the world. Because all of Shell’s construction costs can be written off against tax, the money Shell are trying to offer to our community belongs to us in the first place! The percentage given back is nothing compared to the €50 billion worth of Irish gas they own!For more information or to request a copy of the Channel 4 ‘Policing the pollution’ film, please contact 0851141170.

Protecting against one type of robbery

Happy with their days work

Posted Date: 
1 February 2008 - 1:53pm