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Concrete Lock-on and a Bluegrass Band Stop Shell for a Day

category mayo | environment | news report author Thursday August 04, 2011 23:24author by j debender - Rossport Solidarity Campauthor address A field in Aughoose, between Ballinaboy and Pullathomasauthor phone 0851141170 Report this post to the editors

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, show me a multinational corporation you can trust” -Belle Star

Between a concrete lock-on blocking the road for almost 4 hours and a bluegrass country band playing tunes in front of a Shell truck, Wednesday 3rd August was another impressive day of stopping Shell's work on the onshore pipeline of the Corrib Gas Project.
Bluegrass blockade
Bluegrass blockade

Wednesday 3rd August at 7am local residents and folks from the Rossport Solidarity Camp met at the gates of Shell's Ballinaboy refinery to begin blocking tractor movements. Everything coming out of the refinery in the morning was delayed by the protesters and no arrests were made. By 8:30am two people had locked themselves into a concrete barrel, blocking the road between Ballinaboy refinery and the compound at Aughoose.

The lock-on was cleared at about 12:30pm, having blocked the road for almost 4 hours. Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway, one of the people locked on, commented:

“I’m here because of the obvious corruption involved in Shell and Statoil’s gas project and the management of our resources. The Gardaí are partners in crime with Shell and Statoil in attacking the community.”

Later on people gathered at the refinery to listen to some bluegrass country music by the band Belle Star all the way from Virginia, US. The band had played a fantastic gig in McGuire's pub the night before and commented that the refinery gig was one of their 'strangest but most appropriate' yet.

People were in high spirits, dancing to the music in front of a Shell truck. The gardaí didn't seem to know how to handle the situation. They apparently found it difficult to use their normal force against smiling dancing people.

The hilarity made people feel pretty unstoppable. Even when guards were pushing people along the road with the Shell truck inching along, the bluegrass band kept up with everyone, walking along the road as they played, upright bass and all!

Down the road a bit someone managed to get on top of the truck and stayed there for about 30 minutes. After a warning the person got down and was not arrested, and no more vehicles attempted to leave the refinery for the rest of the day.

The day finished off with a traditional Appalachian square dance in front of the gates of the refinery. Everyone felt like it was a wonderful way to reclaim that space that is usually occupied by much more sinister activities.

Come up to the area and join us! There is plenty more dancing to be done...

The camp is located in a field in Aughoose, between Ballinaboy and Pullathomas.

To contact the camp, ring 085 114 1170 or email rossportsolidaritycamp[at]gmail[dot]com

Related Link: http://shelltosea.com

Early morning blockade
Early morning blockade

Concrete lock-on
Concrete lock-on


Dancing in the road
Dancing in the road

author by more photospublication date Thu Aug 04, 2011 23:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors







author by photospublication date Thu Aug 04, 2011 23:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors



"Normally we make more jokes between songs, but this situation speaks for itself" -Banjo Player
"Normally we make more jokes between songs, but this situation speaks for itself" -Banjo Player

Traditional Appalachian square dance
Traditional Appalachian square dance

A great end to the day
A great end to the day

author by Serfpublication date Fri Aug 05, 2011 15:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Inspiring and creative protest. Kudos to all involved

author by Paddypublication date Fri Aug 05, 2011 22:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Could the government send in the army with water cannons at least, to get these parasites out of the way of job creation and progress.

Is this what we fund college fees for.

author by Damien Mooneypublication date Fri Aug 05, 2011 22:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What when the water supply is polluted beyond repair and all the fish wash up dead ashore? That's hardly progress

author by Seán Cruddenpublication date Fri Aug 05, 2011 23:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There was a film by that name made by Michael Caccoyannis, a Greek director, and the leading actor in the film was Irish a man whose name I cannot remember but who died not many years afterwards sadly still a young man. I agree with your post. Our environment is far more precious than gold. Developers, farmers, fishermen, shooters; they all play fast and loose with it.

Related Link: http://www.cooleyehg.com
author by Fearbolg - S2Spublication date Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's interesting that two of the 'Student Princes' from the 70's, Pat Rabbitte and (where's) Eamonn Gilmore, who bestrode the student and trades union movements for many years are now more hell-bent on giving it all away for nothing than even FF/GP were.  Of all the useless, corrupt and ineffectual politicians who have been involved with Corrib, these two stink worse than anyone else (apart from Eamonn Ryan), because they would still point to a background and tradition in left wing politics, plus they are both west of Ireland men, although don't say it out loud when they're around. If there are students involved in these actions we welcome them with open arms, because unlike the two men I've mentioned, they're not in this to jump on a centre-left gravy train somewhere down the line. When you hear someone like Paddy coming up with the usual water cannon/progress/jobs/student fees tirade, it means we're winning yet again. It's unfortunate that someone like Paddy is too thick to get what this is all about, but it's absolutely unforgiveable for Rabbitte and Gilmore to be complicit in these events.  History will judge Paddy and his ilk simply as clowns who couldn't see the bigger picture, but I believe that Rabbitte and Gilmore will ultimately be viewed as traitors to their political ideology, their country and their people.  Probably doesn't matter to them, though, cos' presumably there's a few pound in it.

author by Seán Crudden - CEHGpublication date Sat Aug 06, 2011 16:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hey, Fearbolg, I don't think it's possible to get people to do anything constructive by abusing them. Have you ever heard the expression, "Donkey-Beater"? I would prefer to be told exactly what Rabbitte and Gilmore are doing or not doing. Maybe you know but you cannot take for granted that everyone else does.

author by Paddypublication date Sat Aug 06, 2011 18:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Oh dear, the Bagman thinks I’m too thick to understand.  The unfortunate thing is actually, that if this is the type of morons with their pie in the sky claptrap that our colleges are producing, we need a return to full fees for the parents so that I and the many other taxpayers who fund them aren’t wasting our money on them.

 I actually live in this country in this century not in some mythical dreamland.  Being pro job creation, progress etc is not a tirade – it is a fact and requirement of life.

 I do agree about Gilmore and Rabbitte being useless – but then again they were products of the commy students unions so its par for the course.

author by Fearbolg - S2Spublication date Sun Aug 07, 2011 01:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.....because both of you had the manners to open up this discussion without any further use of the tiresome sort of insult and invective that some people believe passes for debate in this country.  No, I never heard the phrase 'Donkey Beater', Seán, but we have a similar phrase in Erris which goes 'Being Beaten Regularly by Mindless Asses'.

As regards my knowing what Gilmore and Rabbitte are up to and being cryptic about it, I'm sure you realise that this is a discussion which has been going on for many years now on these threads and I have to assume that most posters will be aware of the main issues surrounding Corrib without my having to spell everything out.  If you are not in that category and are a new arrival yo this debate, all I can suggest is a quick scan of the archives on the Shelltosea website, or this site, which should bring you up to speed fairly quickly.  For the record, my point about the two 'Student Princes' is that they have combined to support and continue the giveaway of our natural resources as begun by their so-called political an ideological adversaries FF in the 80's, in spite of recent strident calls from various commentators, economists, union leaders ,etc., to at least put the brakes on the current unbelievably Oil Company-friendly licencing and fiscal arrangement and look at options which would be more favourable to this country, and, more importantly from my perspective, to the people of Erris and Kilcommon Parish in particular. When erstwhile supposed Socialists act in this way, one is led inexorably to the conclusion that either bribery, intimidation or rank stupidity are at play at the highest levels of Government in this country.  I know what my money's on.

Turning to the charge of my being insulting, let me say that in all my years posting on this site I have never suggested anything as stupid as deploying water cannons (if we had any) or any other type of weapon against those who oppose us, rather I've tried to engage people in worthwhile debate as I'm doing here.  You can't have it both ways,Paddy; you can either engage in a constructive discussion around these issues, in which case you'll get a measured answer like I'm supplying here, or you can come on bleating about water cannons, jobs and 'progress' at any cost, and you'll be told you're a mindless clown, because that's how you're presenting. 

So no, I don't think I was in any way out of order in what I said before,  We need intelligent debate around these issues, not the rhetoric of a Nazi rally.

author by saolfreepublication date Sun Aug 07, 2011 01:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for doing what you do......

author by The lonely schizophrenic - Tlspublication date Sun Aug 07, 2011 09:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Brilliant, inspiring and a very funny way to protest. Fair play to all involved!

author by Seán Cruddenpublication date Sun Aug 07, 2011 20:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Maybe I made up the epithet "Donkey Beater" myself to describe someone who keeps administering attrition or punishment long after it has ceased to have any effect like someone who keeps on beating the donkey long after the donkey has stalled without hope of ever moving forward. In my imaginaion a donkey beater is one who enjoys beating the donkey even though the beating has no positive effect or someone who has not got the sense to lay off. The Irish actor in the film I mentioned is Colin Blakely. The name of the film is given in Wikipedia as, "The Day The Fish Came Out." I saw the film myself soon after it was first issued, I don't remember where, and my recollection of the name of the film is, "The Day The Fish Came Up Dead."

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Blakely
author by Paddypublication date Sun Aug 07, 2011 21:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

is all well and good in a debabting society or after a fine meal, but to me, the plain facts are a handful of people with no mandate from the majority are seeking to hamper legitimate workers from making their living during the worst recession in living memory. (I'm not pro or anti shell, I'm pro the right to earn a living if a job is available).  We may both have poor views of the current and previous governments, but, they are after all the government elected by the majority.  That same goverment would be, in my opinion, entitled to deploy whatever force was necessary to maintain law and order.

author by Stevo - Shelltoseapublication date Mon Aug 08, 2011 13:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just wanted to point out there were 3 attempts to board the tractor. First 2 were manhandled off. I have the 2nd one here and the tractor neglected to stop while the camper was up there.

Very nice to see Belle star play under these circumstances http://bellestarmusic.com/ is their website. The cd is really really good. there is a callout being started for other bands to play unplugged at the gates. Maybe we could make it a regular feature of the forthcoming radio show? The Bellinaboy sessions?

Very hard to do the do-se-do with a gard attached to the back of your jacket. Somewhat fun to try. Did prefer the later squaredance.

Did look like the gards were waiting to be asked to dance as they lined up along the side of the road. I don't like what happens when they pick a partner usually though.

3 people were removed from the tractor, this is the 2nd
3 people were removed from the tractor, this is the 2nd

The band continue to play as the tractor moves
The band continue to play as the tractor moves

No dancing on the road now, garda enforced
No dancing on the road now, garda enforced

gards play ring a roses with a tractor
gards play ring a roses with a tractor

Remember those dancehall sessions where men & women lined up on either end of a comunity hall & waited to be asked to dance?
Remember those dancehall sessions where men & women lined up on either end of a comunity hall & waited to be asked to dance?

Related Link: http://bellestarmusic.com/
author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Mon Aug 08, 2011 13:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Market it as pipe-line-dancing.

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