Westside Action

a motley crew of anarchists and activists from Bristol, Bath and South Wales

Archive for Rossport

B & B Rising Tide Show Solidarity With Rossport Campaigners

Activists from Bristol and Bath Rising Tide visited the Shell garage in Muller Road, Eastville at 8.30am this morning to highlight the repression experienced by communities in County Mayo, Ireland who are trying to stop Shell building an onshore high pressure pipeline and gas refinery.

The community in Erris, County Mayo has seen continued harassment and intimidation by Gardai and Shell security, as well as the unlawful arrest and targeted jailing of key campaigners. In February fisherman Pat O’Donnell was sentenced to 7 months in jail for convictions of “breach of the peace” and of “obstructing a Garda”. The community has been fighting this project for over a decade. Construction of the gas refinery has resulted in the pollution of the local drinking water. Untreated waste chemicals from the refinery, including lead, mercury, arsenic and radon would be pumped into Broadhaven Bay despite it being a designated Special Area of Conservation. 1

Today’s action is part of Fossil Fools Day, a global day of creative action against corporations who contribute to and profit from climate change. 2

It is also the lastest in a series of acts of Solidarity that “Westside” has taken in support of the local campaign in Rossport since 2006, including visits to Mayo itself.  See links below:








1 http://www.shelltosea.com/node/21
2 http://risingtide.org.uk/node/336

Related Link: http://risingtide.org.uk/bristol


Rossport Fisherman Jailed For Defying Shell and Authorities


This weekend saw the first UK gathering of Shell to Sea activists and supporters. Many aspects of the campaign were discussed, but a dominant theme of the gathering was one of support for Pat O’Donnell, now serving 7 months in Castlerea Prison, and for his family. Pat has consistently spoken out against the Corrib Gas Project and the collusion between Royal Dutch Shell and the Irish Government and has refused to be silenced by violent attacks on him and his boat, and by numerous arrests.

People at the gathering spoke out against the travesty of justice that saw “The Chief” sentenced to the maximum sentences for minor offences, and at a judge and press that labelled this kind and honourable man a “Bully and Thug”. Instead Pat was hailed as a “Hero and Friend”, a Hero for risking his own life to rescue Gardai and civilians in a sea rescue in 1997, and a Friend, because for all those who had met him, that’s how they saw him.

The Gathering sent messages of support to Pat in Castlerea Prison, and to his wife and family, and intends to continue to support them throughout his sentence.

The campaign against Shell, the Corrib Gas Project, and the Irish Government’s support for it, continues to grow in determination and strength.

Shell to Sea UK Show support for the Chief
– Homepage: http://www.shelltosea.com/content/no-justice-shell-sea-campaigners-judge-jails-fisherman

7 Rossport Protestors Jailed

This evening, Judge Mary Devins jailed seven Shell to Sea protesters at a special siting of Ballina District Court. The seven protester were arrested yesterday along with two others who were released on bail. The four women and three men who were jailed were remanded to appear at court this Friday, the 3rd July at 10:30 in the morning. The four women’s cases will next be held in Court 44 in the Four Courts, while the three men’s cases will be held in Harristown. Of the nine arrested yesterday, five were arrested for a lock-on, one for a climbing a tripod, and three others for walking across a road. For a report on these arrests read indy media article: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92934

None of the protesters had previous convictions, yet were refused normal bail conditions. The prosecuting garda sought to have all of the protesters remanded, and Judge Devins agreed with the u in all but two of the cases. The Judge predictably sided with the prosecution’s argument that the activists were likely to re-offend, and some of the protesters, with overseas addresses, may not turn up for court. To date all Shell to Sea activists have showed up to court.

One of the activists, Eoin Lawless, in addressing the court following his remanding, stated that he believed he should be afforded the legal presumption of innocent before proven guilty. Lawless was one of the activists arrested for merely crossing the road, and was leaving the area after being directed by a Public Order garda. Judge Devin’s replied to Lawless’ defense by inquiring, “Did you take up a law degree?” She then refused Lawless’ defense argument, and remanded him to Castlereagh.

Judge Devin denied and/or deferred decisions on activists legal aid, although it was evident that some of the protesters are not able to afford legal representation. Judge Devins said, “Legal aid can no longer be dished out like smarties.” The two who were not remanded had to undertake an order to stay out of Co. Mayo and “not return to this county until the next court case.” The two who were allowed to leave were forced to pay the court 100 euros.

In making these decisions Judge Devins has again clearly shown her disdain and bias against the Shell to Sea protesters. Sending people to jail whose first offense is to be arrested for not obeying directions of a guard is ridiculous and unprecedented. People up and down this country are arrested for this charge every weekend and do not end up in jail, so why for Shell to Sea protesters? Also the question should be asked if Judge Devins is really interested in saving money for the country by refusing legal aid why is she wasting public money to send protesters to jail on minor public order offenses? It seems that Judge Devins has seen the massive state repression going on down in Erris, and decided to get in on the act.

If you would like to send well wishes to the 7 in prison, please post them to the camp or email them to rossportsolidaritycamp@gmail.com

The camp address is Rossport Solidarity Camp, Glengad, Erris, Mayo.

Related Link: http://www.ShelltoSea.com

Shell compound breached in Glengad during Rossport Solidarity Camp gathering

31.05.2009 19:03

This afternoon at 5pm, over 200 people from the local community and the Rossport Solidarity Camp Summer Gathering attempted to dismantle Shell’s illegal compound at Glengad
After a day of direct action training, local people and their supporters walked to the south side of the compound where they attempted to breach the fence in two places. They were met by strong opposition from over sixty Gardai, including many from the Public Order Unit.

At least five people who scaled the fence into the compound were held by security guards and later arrested.

Later in the afternoon, as the crowd were leaving, a further arrest was made when the Gardai targeted a prominent campaigner and forcibly detained him for speaking out against the actions of the Gardai.

Today’s action comes the day after Maura Harrington was released after 13 days in Mount Joy prison, Dublin for non-payment of fines, including a one thousand euro contribution to the Garda Benevolent Fund.

Around 200 people are attending the RSC summer gathering. It’s a beautifully sunny weekend and preperations are now well under way for another summer of action against Shell in Mayo, on land and sea. Come and be part of it!


United Community of Erris, Co Mayo, Remove Shell Nets.

“There is no land that can rightfully be called ‘Shell’s land’. This land is our land”. – Local Resident


Following a cowardly and vicious attack in the dead of night by Shell mercenaries on Willie Corduff in the early hours of Thursday 23rd April 2009, members of the Erris community assisted by national supporters opposed to the Shell Corrib Gas Project, united at 3pm on Sunday 26th April to rid the Glengad beach and cliffs of Shell nets.
Westy writes: This defiant act is a good reminder of the call out for the Rossport Camp Taking Place Between May 29th and June 1st.  E-mail rossportsolidaritycamp@gmail.com orcall  0851141170 for more info.
Report Continues:

Nets covering mounds of rubble on the Shell site at Glengad were removed also, as Shell security retreated from their usual positions on top of the cliff and inside the perimeter fence surrounding the site.The fence was cut open by local residents who proceeded to remove and shred the nets before carrying them to the gates of the Shell site which was being guarded by quite a large force of Gardaí.

What is now crystal clear in the minds of the Erris community following lies copied and pasted from statements issued by Garda Supt. Michael Larkin and Chief Superintendent Tony McNamara into national media in the last few days, is the collusion between the State, An Garda Síochána, and Shell in the escalation of violent force executed and planned indefinitely against a local community engaged in a fight for its life.

Integrated Risk Management Services (IRMS), Shell’s security at Glengad, headed up by ex-Irish Army Ranger, Jim Farrell, in collusion with An Garda Síochána, are to blame for the vicious attack by up to 10 trained thugs, all dressed in black from head to toe, who beat Willie Corduff into submission, for fear of his life, when he refused to come out from under the wheels of a Shell truck this week. “I thought they were trying to kill me,” Corduff said. “They beat me until I stopped moving and I heard one of them say, ‘Stop now lads, he’s nearly finished.’ “

A Community Meeting on Friday 24th last, called in response to the attack, galvanised the local community who are resolved that they will not allow their community be taken over by trained thugs and killers who want to control this area for Shell, into the foreseeable future. “These boys are here to stay”, said one local resident, “Eamon Ryan is responsible for the importation of these scum into our community. Someone is going to get killed if this goes on and Ryan will be to blame”.

A joint press statement calling for an independent international investigation of recent events was put out from community activist groups Shell to Sea, Pobal Le Cheile, Pobal Chill Chomain and the Rossport Solidarity Camp, this weekend.

The community came together again today to remove the Shell netting at the cliff and on the Shell site at Glengad to demonstrate to Shell and the Government that this community will not be beaten back by the violent force which the State is willing to use against its citizens, for Shell.

“The State has been subverted by Shell, it’s down to the people to protect themselves,” said another local resident. And all community groups are agreed.

More news at http://www.indymedia.ie/mayo

All Welcome at the Upcoming Rossport Solidarity Camp June Gathering 2009 see here: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92076

But any time is the right time to come now that Shell have returned to Glengad.

48hrs Against New Coal & E-ON: Cake Fight!


Report: the day started with a banner drop on one of the flyovers crossing the M32 motorway running into the city centre. Over lunchtime the main RBS branch in the city centre was picketed, with activists handing out forged £20 banknotes (see below) to passers-by and customers only to have an ‘RBS bank robber’ steal them back to give to E-on and the coal industry (see photo). A mock bank statemate was also distributed showing RBS’s investment in coal around the world set against the taxpayer funded bail out of the bank. The picket moved on to an E-on ‘Family Football’ event in the Broadmead shopping centre (see photo). Mid afternoon saw over 50 activists gathering in the city centre for a reclaim the streets party. The party, with mobile sound system roamed the city centre forcing the city centre branch of NatWest to close early and leaving the RBS branch unusable after a very messy cake fight!

Tomorrow (Sunday) at Kebele :

Come and see a new film about the campaign against Shell at Rossport, County Mayo followed by a discussion with Bristol activists who took part in the action. Showing at Kebele, Robertson Rd, Easton on Sunday 30th November at 8.00 pm (you can eat there beforehand)

This is a new film about the campaign and showing recent events when Shell tried to lay a pipeline under the sea to the site where they are building a gas refinery. Opposition included a local woman going on hunger strike, action on the water with a flotilla of kayaks facing the Irish Navy and blockades of the refinery site.

Bristol Rising Tide

Bristol RT
- Homepage: http://risingtide.org.uk/bristol

As part of the national 48 hrs of action (28th/29th November) being called by the Camp for Climate Action against e-on and New Coal, Bristol Rising Tide is targeting the Royal Bank of Scotland the financier of climate chaos

This follows a successful national campaign against e-on’s appearance at student recruitment fairs, in which e-on, gaining only bad publicity, withdrew.

Come and join in a day of shenanigans targetted on RBS (now 60% owned by the British Taxpayer), the financier of new coal development in the UK. Be a bank robber or help the cooks with their recipe for disaster!

Meeting at the ruined church at 12.00 on Castle Green, then onto the RBS branch in Baldwin Street around 12.15, NatWest in Corn Street around 12.45 and then RBS insurance in Nelson St around 1.15.

Then:Party and Protect in defiance of e-on (owners of Kingsnorth) and coal expansion with solar powered sound system and free cake 3.00 pm at the Hippodrome, St Augustines Parade

bristolrisingtide@riseup.net if you want to get more involved before the day

This is one of 6 pre-announced actions against e-on (hopefully there will be some nasty surprises in store for the purveyors of new coal as well!):

Friday 28th November

Join Warwick Uni students at E.ON’s headquarters in Coventry.
Meet at 12pm on the piazza. We’ll march from there to the Headquarters,
arrive there about 12:30. Once there, there’ll be loads going on,
including… .a ‘Catch the Carbon’ competition, drumming workshop, a mass
die-in, visually showing the effects climate change are already having
and more.
For more see: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=34220633837&ref=ts

E.ON vs. Greenwash Guerillas
8am-10am. Meet up in Trafalgar Square at 8.00am to head down to E.ON’s
London office at 100 Pall Mall and show E.ON their greenwash won’t wash.
All inventive greenwash actions welcome!

World Development Movement kids demo at E.ON
Meet at 10am in Trafalgar Square for the children to add their
footprints to the banner, then take our footprints to a ‘No new coal’
protest outside E.ON’s London offices in Pall Mall. Come along with your
children and participate

Saturday 29th November

Stop Coal Sticker Rush
Keep the pressure up on E.ON by spreading the word and putting up some
E.ON F.OFF & Stop Coal stickers – you can get them from the Coal Hole
(91-92 Strand, WC2R 0DW) from 1pm-3pm on Saturday.

Spoof E.on Recruitment Stall
Location – Outside RBS, 5 Queen Street, Norwich.
Time – 12noon – 2pm, Saturday 29 November.

Also, on 30th Nov:

Come and see a new film about the campaign against Shell at Rossport, County Mayo followed by a discussion with Bristol activists who took part in the action. Showing at Kebele, Robertson Rd, Easton on Sunday 30th November at 8.00 pm (you can eat there beforehand)
This is a new film about the campaign and showing recent events when Shell tried to lay a pipeline under the sea to the site where they are building a gas refinery. Opposition included a local woman going on hunger strike, action on the water with a flotilla of kayaks facing the Irish Navy and blockades of the refinery site.

Rossport solidarity, Cardiff

Here’s a video from one of our recent actions, enjoy:

Keep up to date with Rossport Solidarity actions and plan you own!

New issue of Gagged! out now

Issue 24 of Gagged! is out now, featuring articles by No Borders South Wales, South Wales Anarchists and us, Westside Climate Action! In future all Westside acticles will appear on here before Gagged! is printed. You can download a .pdf of the newsletter to print out, photocopy and distribute, or get in contact if you want a bundle of paper copies. Here’s the two articles we contributed:

UK Coal Authority AGM Disrupted

The UK Coal Authority’s AGM was brought to a halt in Cardiff’s Hilton Hotel last month by protestors demonstrating against the monster Ffos-y-Fran opencast mine in Merthyr Tydfil. 3 activists climbed the roof of the Hilton entrance and unfurled a banner reading “Coal = Climate Disaster”, while Merthyr residents occupied the conference. Local people have long been campaigning against the mine which is situated in one of the poorest areas in Wales. Masquerading as a “land reclamation” scheme, plans are in place for coal mining to continue on the site for the next 17 years, extracting 11 million tonnes of coal, which will in turn produce 29.5m tonnes of carbon dioxide. The nearest houses are a mere 37 metres from the site, and residents are forced to endure noise & pollution for 16 hours daily, with climate chaos forced on the rest of the planet – all for the benefit of big business. The mine is owned by Miller Argent, a wholly owned subsidiary of BT Pensions Group. 

Rossport Solidarity in Cardiff

12 Westside Climate Camp activists occupied the Irish Consulate in Cardiff in September in solidarity with the Shell to Sea campaign against Shell’s pipeline in  Rossport. The consulate was occupied for two hours while the consul refused to meet demonstrators, and messages were left protesting against the Irish state’s complicity in the environmental destruction that the Shell pipeline will bring.