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'We Know What You Did This Summer!' - Cork Shell to Sea visits LE Aisling during 'Culture Night'

category cork | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Saturday September 26, 2009 17:27author by Ray - Cork Shell to Sea Report this post to the editors

P23 - she shoots for Shell too you know!

Cork Shell to Sea activists paid a visit to the Irish Naval Service's ship the LÉ Aisling yesterday evening so that Shell's Navy is remembered for its role in the Great Oil and Gas Robbery.
Cork Shell to Sea team in dinghy
Cork Shell to Sea team in dinghy

The Irish Naval service ship LÉ Aisling had participated in Shell's occupation and despoliation of Glengad and Broadhaven Bay, providing armed floating security to the multinational corporation that is making off with Ireland's economic future and civic society. At 5p.m. Yesterday, Cork Shell to Sea sent a team by both land and water to protest their presence in the city during what was billed as the city's 'Culture Night'. A dinghy rowed up to alongside the Shell Navy ship, which caused some consternation on board the Aisling for a short time.

A pair of land-based activists took the ship tour to see what they could see, and to leave a letter of protest at the Naval Service's role in events in Mayo on the captain's desk. Copies were also given to the Aisling's crew by another friendly Shell to Sea volunteer. Copies of the letter have been sent by registered mail to the minister for defence Willie O'Dea and to commodore Frank Lynch, chief of the Naval Service.

The team also discovered that LÉ Aisling (and by extension the Naval Service one presumes) uses products supplied by Shell Oil. This does beg the question about what kind of relationship there is between Shell and the navy – does the navy get these products at special prices for 'services rendered'? Please remember too that the Naval Service turned up for Shell at no cost to the corporation – the cost of protecting Shell's ill-gotten interests is borne by Irish taxpayers, who will receive no benefit whatsoever and plenty of licensed pollution in return for their unwitting generosity. After nosing about on the ship for quite a while and gaining a photo-opportunity on the gangway, the Cork Shell to Sea team distributed the 'Someday Independent' and copies of the protest letter to the members of the public on the city quayside who were queueing for the tour of the Aisling. The public were interested and often sympathetic to the Cork Shell to Sea point of view, and the team remained at the quayside distributing leaflets until almost 8p.m., when it was past sunset and the Aisling's crew decided to end the public visit onto the ship.

This inclusion of the military in what was billed as a 'Culture Night' should open a debate over what Cork's (and Ireland's) establishment considers to be culture. The military the world over have historically been the advance guard of capitalism's and imperialism's mission of expropriation from the many to benefit the few, and armies and navies have been implicated in the destruction of both peoples and cultures for millennia. The Irish military share in this heritage whether they like it or not, and their participation on Shell's side in the Corrib gas dispute shows that they cannot escape being the helpmeets of capitalism's destruction of environments and communities. The presentation of machines of war in the midst of a cultural tableau serves to normalise the use of overwhelming violence in society, and passing off Shell's willing helpers as some kind of cultural attraction is certainly not telling the full story.

The personnel of the Aisling took leaflets from the Cork Shell to Sea team, and they should be thanked for their calm and proportionate response on the Cork quayside to the protest. They kept their cool in a situation that was perhaps embarrassing and uncomfortable for them. This is in stark contrast to Shell's other uniformed security service An Garda Síochána, whose ever-aggressive presence was thankfully mostly absent from the scene yesterday.

Related Link:

Dinghy team approaching LÉ Aisling
Dinghy team approaching LÉ Aisling

Oooh!! What have we found here?!
Oooh!! What have we found here?!

Shell products? On the LÉ Aisling? They never would, would they?
Shell products? On the LÉ Aisling? They never would, would they?

Photo opportunity on the gangway
Photo opportunity on the gangway

author by Ray - Cork Shell to Seapublication date Sat Sep 26, 2009 17:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interesting to note the status differences on board ship too - the officers' mess is quite plush, and the captain's and other senior officers' accomodation take over a considerable percentage of the below-decks space. Meanwhile, the ratings' space is quite cramped. I guess it's not inhumane though. The Aisling is also an old ship, almost 30 years on the go, if I heard the guide correctly.

Another photo-opportunist!
Another photo-opportunist!

It's on your desk Cap'n!
It's on your desk Cap'n!

Crew with 'Someday Independent' in hand.
Crew with 'Someday Independent' in hand.

Related Link:
author by Ray - Cork Shell to Seapublication date Sat Sep 26, 2009 17:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The letter sent by registered post is identical in text to the letter shown here. A similar letter was given to the commodore's representative by Cork Shell to Sea at a protest last year.

author by Billy idlepublication date Sat Sep 26, 2009 21:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Given the action of the Navy on behalf of Shell and their lackeys in government there must be a worry about similiar miss use of the state security apparatas in the near future given the increasing likelyhood of civil unrest as the countries economic situation continues to deteriate

author by Mickpublication date Sat Sep 26, 2009 22:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play lads! Is the S2S website down?

author by Chrissie - Shell to Sea Cambridgepublication date Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

See yez soon! Solidarity from UK supporters.

author by corkypublication date Sun Oct 04, 2009 20:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The military receive their orders from the Government via the Minister. Handing a letter to a Navy person of any rank, no matter how senior or junior they are within that organisation, is futile at best. These people are following legal orders from the Government when they are sent to Mayo. It is your right to free speach and peaceful protest, and since you believe you have a legitimate concern about Shell, why not take it up with the people who give the orders not the people who follow. Let the military get on with their many other taskings they have been given from the Government and the Irish people.

author by Tom Williams - nonepublication date Sun Oct 04, 2009 22:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Such as all being dead by breakfasttime if we were ever invaded.

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