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Day of Solidarity in Mayo a great success
Monday February 20, 2012 20:13 by Shell To Sea
Music, dancing, games and a bit of trespassing.
Around 70 people stopped all Shell work on Friday and Saturday February 17th and 18th, including the haulage and massive convoys that have been distressing local residents for the past few weeks.
Two buses from Cork and Dublin with 20 people each arrived to the Rossport Solidarity Camp Thursday night, and including local residents and folks already on the camp about 70 people went out at 7am Friday morning to stop work.
A few Shell vehicles carrying workers tried but failed to get into the Aughoose compound because of the number of people standing in the road. Local non-Shell traffic was not blocked, but when Gardaí asked permission to let a Shell vehicle through protesters politely declined.
It was clear that there were far too many people for the Gardaí to deal with, so most of the day was easygoing with very little garda presence. People played music and games, and after awhile took it in turns to stand outside the gate of the tunnelling compound in Aughoose.
After several hours of relaxed but effective protesting, around 2pm one of the fence panels near the gate decided to fall down in solidarity. Seeing openings in the fence behind the fallen panel, about 12 people got into the compound before IRMS security were able to secure the fence.
The protesters made their way through the compound and exited of their own accord, without any bother from IRMS or the Gardaí. However within 5 minutes up to 40 Gardaí showed up on the scene, coming out in full force at the first call from Shell security.
No arrests were made and the rest of the day was pretty quiet, even with 40 Gardaí they knew there was little they could do with such a big crowd.
People went out and did the same thing on Saturday with no hassle from IRMS or the Gardaí, and Saturday night everyone had a great night at a gig and camp fundraiser in the pub.
Please come up anytime- things are always happening, it doesn't have to be a Day of Solidarity. The next Day of Solidarity will be (sometime in March?), stay tuned to find out when it will be. The biggest thing happening at the moment is the special sitting in Belmullet district court where 19 campaigners are facing 80 charges to do with civil disobedience over the last year.