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Islington Petrol station taken over by protesters
23 February 2006
A PETROL station was brought to a standstill as activists blockaded the forecourt and climbed on the roof.

Petrol pumps were disabled with tape emblazoned with the words ''Caution Global Warming'', while on display was a banner reading ''Stop Shell Hell in North West Ireland Now!''

About 50 activists from various protest groups took part in the action, which left the Shell petrol station in Upper Street, Islington, unable to trade for several hours.

It had been organised by a range of groups, including London Rising Tide, which aims to tackle the causes of climate change, and drum band Rhythms of Resistance, which plays at anti-capitalist demonstrations.

It was part of an international day of action in protest at a Shell-led joint venture to build a pipeline from the Corrib gas reservoir off the coast of County Mayo, Ireland.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: ''It was fairly peaceful - however two men went on the roof of the garage.''

She said the two men, one in his 40s and the other in his 20s, were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage. They have been released on police bail and must return to a north London police station next month.

Rebecca Landers, 26, an activist with London Rising Tide, said: ''It got really positive support from passers-by and local people. There is a strong Irish community in Camden and Islington.''

IT consultant Clem Clement, 52, who lives nearby in Milner Square, said: ''It caused a fair amount of chaos and they had to close part of Upper Street to southbound vehicles. It was done in a good-natured manner, although it was a bit odd that it was in the middle of Islington.''

A spokeswoman for energy company Shell apologised for the inconvenience caused to customers and pointed out that the development would create jobs, link Corrib to the national grid, and is essential for the security of Ireland's energy supply.

She added: ''The company is fully committed to addressing the genuine concerns of the community and believes the mediation process together with the final report of the Independent Safety Review can ultimately lead to a resolution of the issues.

Posted Date: 
24 February 2006 - 2:30am