October 2006 National day of action in Rossport audio report

Date:

Interview about National Day of Action in Rossport which saw repeated attempts to blockade the road to the refinery and Gardai (police) attacks on those doing the blockading. "The struggle against Shell's attempt to impose a dangerous gas pipeline on a local community in Rossport (in the West of Ireland) continued today with a national mobilisation, called for by the locals, where people travelled from around the country to go down and support them. "
It is located at http://radio.indymedia.org/uploads/natdayaction20oct.mp3 Audio file is 3.5 minutes of Mp3 1.2 Mb

Transcript of audio interview

Interviewer: The struggle against Shell's attempt to impose a dangerous gas pipeline on a local community in Rossport (in the West of Ireland) continued today with a national mobilisation, called for by the locals, where people travelled from around the country to go down and support them. Every morning they (the locals) have been marching to the refinery and today people from elsewhere in Ireland joined them.

This report is from Davy, who is a WSM member living in the camp in Rossport and he reports on todays events.

Davy: Today was a national day of action called in Rossport for [?] people from all over the country came up to Rossport to support the local community in their ongoing fight against Shell who are trying to attempt to build an onshore gas-refinery in Erris. The morning started at about 10 o'clock when people gathered at a t-junction near the refinery site where shell ... on a road which Shell use to access the refinery site. There was a slow march up towards the refinery site which over time turned into a demi-blockade with, em the guards, with people walking very slowly in front of vehicles and then the guards having to pull people away. Effectively it was working pretty well as a blockade. When we reached the refinery site which was about a kilometer and a half away from our start point we stopped. People kind of re-grouped, we then marched back down the road and went further past the t-junction for about 2 kilometers, constantly blocking the trucks on the way out of the refinery site to do the pickup and the trucks coming back in. Then we turned around after going down those 2 kilometers and walked back up again and did this.

At this stage the police who had gotten very, very aggressive were throwing an awful lot of punches, punched a woman in the stomach, punched other people in the face, kicked people, quite violent, cornered us in. And then some of the local community led some of the people who had come down on a [??mission??] through the bog and back out onto the road again and they continued the blockade again. The blockade kind of dissipated around 12 o'clock.

Quite an enjoyable day was had by all and quite effective. Like, the blockade is I suppose, ... or I suppose more accurately the disruption continued to 12 o'clock today. Everyone was quite empowered by the whole process. People really felt empowered by the fact that all these people had come from all across the country: Dublin, Cork, Galway, Clare, Belfast, [noise of passing car] Donegal. It was a great show of solidarity today, there was about 300, 400 people on the demonstration.

Interviewer: Any people arrested?

Dave: Oh yes, sorry. One person was arrested over allegedly criminally damaging a Garda camera [noise of passing car] ... they were released 3 hours later without charge. The police as I said before were very, very aggressive. They really laid into people, punched people. I think a lot of people who came down from around the country had heard a lot about it on the internet or on the news and stuff were really shocked when they saw first hand exactly how the police were acting, that it was real, real aggression and ... you know, very vicious the whole attitude [noise of passing car] their whole demeanour. And so I think it's very useful in that ... like the technology for what's going on down here has spread further again.

Interviewer: How do people who are down there, the locals and people in the camp feel the actual day went? Are you pleased with the turn-out?

Dave: Oh, very pleased with the turn out, yeah. Probably, oh a good hundred, hundred and fity people come down for it and then there's a big turn-out from the local community as well. People were quite happy, obviously there's different reactions exactly ... exactly ... you know how different people saw the day, but I suppose it's very difficult to tell because with anything like this your talking necessarily about just how succesful today was but how it sort of effects future actions, and does it empower people here to go on doing more, which I think it will, or does it make people angry, a little more a little less, you know does it disempower people which I can't see how it could, so I suppose yeah, it was quite a good day.

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