Hundreds gather in Erris for the Party Against the Pipe


The June bank holiday weekend saw hundreds traveling to Erris for the Party Against the Pioe festival organised by the Rossport Solidarity Camp. The festival was held beside the Shell construction compound at Aghoose, where the tunnel for the last stage of their controversial experimental raw gas pipeline is to be started. This compound has been the site of many protests, including one earlier in the week when security punched a female Shell to Sea campaigner in the face.

The festival organizers estimated that around 500 people turned up to take part in a range of activities that ranged from folk singing, céilí dancing, art performances, fire juggling and three music tents playing everything from the above to reggae and dub step way into the early hours of the morning.  A sample of some of these are provided in the embedded video below.

There were also demonstrations of environmentally sustainable power generation including the camps three wind turbines and a wood burning rocket stove. Huge numbers of festival goers also volunteered to help out with the organisation of the festival itself, everything from helping to lug heavy sounds systems from the road to the tents to preparing food and doing the washing up.

The DIY ethic of the festival which meant it cost very little for festival goers was in sharp contrast to the 2.6 billion euro cost of the Shell's Corrib project and the small army of security that guarded the Shell compound all weekend. This was reflected in the comments left after the festival on its Facebook page, a selection of which we reproduce below.

"Rossport Solidarity Camp you are all legends. My hat is doffed to one and all. It was so good to celebrate community resistance with everyone this weekend. And hope all you revellers will keep coming back up this summer, party or no. Keep it country. "

"Awesome weekend guys, well done :)If anyone happens upon a swiss army knife with a lil froggy on it pls let me know, twas lost somewhere
Much love! X"

"Thanks everyone for a great weekend, great to spend time up their celebrating and making new friends, gave me lots of energy and fresh ideas for resistance, see you all again soon. Rob"

"Thanks all for a brill weekend, surrounded by lovely people and the beauty that is Mayo perfect."

"Thank you for such an amazing epic weekend. It was great to me so many happy friendly people :) Keep up the great work and see you again in august :)"

WORDS & IMAGES: Andrew Flood

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