Report on Dublin Solidarity March with Rossport Feb 2007

Date:

About 900 people marched through the rain on Saturday in Dublin in solidarity with the community in Rossport who are opposing Shell Oil's attempts to build a dangerous pipeline close to their home.Despite the damp the mood was upbeat. There were speeches at the beginning and the end - an irritating development in Dublin marches lately. There was a high police presence, given that the Irish/England rugby match was being played lately in the day. As it was, the Garda’s prediction that the march would be manipulated by rogue elements into causing a full-scale riot (you couldn’t make this up!) proved unfounded. Republican Sinn Fein left the march after ten minutes, and headed off to have their own protest about the rugby match. The march continued around the normal route, around the block and back to the GPO. Afterwards everyone headed back to the Teachers Club for tea and sandwiches (and an excellent game of rugby).

The WSM distributed the following leaflet along the route of the march

The people of Erris need your help! Their community has been turned into a prison, and their lives endangered by a state acting on a behalf of a multinational corporation. Anyone who thinks we live in a democratic society can think again. People in Erris have long opposed Shell’s pipeline and terminal but time and time again, their voices have been ignored. When they took matters into their own hands and tried to stop this unsafe project themselves they have been intimidated, beaten and locked up. If you want to help you can join them on their blockades, get active in your local Shell to Sea group and talk about these issues to your friends and workmates. If you’re in a union, you can propose motions to support Shell to Sea and bring the banner on demonstrations.

But this struggle isn’t just about Erris, it’s about all of us. The resources off the coast of Ireland are worth hundreds of billions of euro. The State could have used this money to finance a decent public health service, an inclusive education system, or a proper transport infrastructure, but they gave it away to big business instead. All the while, they’re building more prisons and privatising our public services. As always, the state is on the side of big business and not the ordinary people of this island. We need a movement capable of forcing them to use these resources for the benefit of all the Irish people.

The Workers Solidarity Movement have supported the struggle in Erris and the Shell to Sea campaign since they began. As anarchists we believe that the problems faced by the people in Erris result from the type of society we live in, a society which is run in the interests of profit rather than human happiness, a society in which big business and their pets in government make the rules for the rest of us to follow. We can’t vote our way out of these problems, none of the parties will do anything but manage capitalism a little bit differently. If we want a fair society, we’ll have to fight for it.

To get involved in the Shell to Sea campaign, visit shelltosea.com to find out details of your local group.

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