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LivinginRossport Blog: What could have been a quiet week…

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livinginrossport

In a week in which the An Bord Pleanala decision on Shell’s proposed onshore pipeline was put off again, Shell showed their by now customary arrogance by pushing ahead with works in Glengad, arriving to set about drilling along the proposed pipeline route, probably in an SAC. We had a great day on Wednesday, as after a while, one of the lads managed to get up on the arm of the digger/forklift they were using, stopping all work (as it’d be dangerous to try to remove him). Lots of people came to support throughout the day, there was a great sense of togetherness and solidarity which really added to the day, it was great to see. At about 6.15pm, our intrepid climber came down, having stopped work for the day.

Thursday morning dawned, and we headed back down for a little bit more of the same. We arrived early, caught IRMS (Shell’s dodgy security company – see this article from the Irish Examiner) off-guard, and two people managed to get up on a digger, despite security rushing to retrieve the situation. Now, Health and Safety regulations would generally state that you shouldn’t be pulling and dragging out of people who are up at a height, much less pushing pressure points on one of their necks, but this is exactly what IRMS proceeded to do. The other person had their knee bashed on the way down. All part of a day’s work. Just because it’s common doesn’t make it right.

But this, combined with blocking of the gate by a local resident, saw the combined total of work done over two days amount to about 200m of wood track laid down towards where they want to go drilling. They didn’t come back on Friday, and their fences blew down in the wind a few nights ago too.  So, what they achieved in three work days doesn’t really amount to very much. Possibly even more importantly, it has shown very clearly just how brutal IRMS are, and the lengths they’ll go to against peaceful protesters. And with a crucial difference this time, in that they were caught on camera! Interesting times ahead…

The breathtaking arrogance of Shell in acting this way is possibly the most striking aspect of it all. They moved back into Glengad on the Wednesday, with the decision expected for Friday (at the time), a decision expected to go their way. But they wanted to push their way in anyway, to show who’s boss, that they can essentially do what they want. Any veneer of democratic control over the whole process of planning is viewed with contempt, because they just know that it won’t be used to constrain them. They couldn’t even wait a bloody week! It’s almost magnificent in its ‘fuck you’ attitude…

Well, we met them, and put them back a little bit.

Small steps…