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Remember Remember the tenth of November,

category national | anti-capitalism | feature author Tuesday October 30, 2007 20:44author by Sean Mallory (wsm pers cap) & Soundmigration (wsm pers cap) Report this post to the editors

November the tenth: lessons learned (or not)

featured image
Ogoni Nine Memorial in Rossport

Looking back at Shells history of brutality and looking forward to the comemmeration actions in Mayo on November 9th

Related Links: Rossport Still Resists | Rossport Five Man wins Goldman Prize | Gardaí Baton Fest in Rossport | Irish African unity for justice in Nigeria and Rossport | 14th Sept at Bellanaboy | Shell pipeline letters handed back | Rossport Solidarity Camp Eviction Report | Norway profits while Irish people face jail | Community outrage over unjust sentencing | NGO Report Slams Garda abuse in Mayo | Indymedia Rossport Archive |

The tenth of November is fast approaching. This day has come to signify across the world the brutality that is systematic behind Royal Dutch Shell's corporate image. It is also becoming a day of hope and resistance against this brutality. Twelve years ago this November the Nigerian government hung nine activists from MOSOP(Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People) at the behest of Shell. These activists (who included the famous writer Ken Saro Wiwa) were accused of incitement murder by the Nigerian military Junta. The charges were absolutely spurious. Saro Wiwa was detained by the military as he tried to go the Niger delta the morning before the murders even happened. The case of gross injustice attracted worldwide support from many organisations such as the Sierra Club. Even John Major the Conservative Party leader at the time called the executions "judicial murder". Unfortunately, the massive efforts failed and the nine were hung on November the 10th 1995. One may ask what has this got to do with Shell, Ireland or us.

MOSOP arrived on the world scene with their now famous Ogoni bill of rights http://www.mosop.net/MosopOBR.htm in 1992. In this, the Ogoni people (inhabitants of a ogoniland a regionin the Niger Delta) demanded to be treated as human beings and essentially freed from the misery that the oil multinationals, particularly Royal Dutch Shell, were visiting upon them. Kuro (from the Niger delta) explained the reasons for the protests: "Farming is the main occupation of the Ogoni people.....there was alot of environemntal destruction to their farmland- oil spills, gas flaring effecting the day to day livelyhood of the people of the Ogoniland...they had to rise up and say "Shell, enough is enough!"

The Nigerian Governemnt under orders from Shell moved to crush MOSOP as the movement garnered widescale support through Ogoniland in the Niger Delta and further a field. In 1994 the actions of the Nigerian State reached boiling point as the miltary, on the invitation of Shell, launched a full scale attack on Ogoniland using helicopters loaned by Shell. This was carried out allegedly to find the murderers of four Ogoni leaders of the moderate faction within MOSOP (the crime which the Ogoni 9 were subsequently linked to). This attack more or less turned into an occupation. By 1995 the conflict had escalated to the point where 2000 people were dead and 100,000 were displaced.

Where's the direct Shell link?
Well firstly there's the fact that they loaned helicopters for the 1994 assault and subsequent occupation of Ogoniland illustrates direct involvement in the attrocities. It subsequently emerged that Shell funded the Nigerian military, despite claiming innocence. After Saro Wiwa's military trial and executions, two key witnesses admitted to being offered bribes and jobs at Shell to testify at the trial. Shell also benefitted enormously freom the execution - Shell's production returned to normal within a few months of the execution after having all but collapsed. It has emerged subsequently it was Shell who initially invited the military to the delta and gave them military hardware to carry out the assault. www.sierraclub.org/human-right.s/amnesty/report.pdf (page 22)

Where does Ireland come in?
During those hurrendous days in the mid nineties people in Ireland, whilst showing their anger against Shell and solidarity with the Ogoni, never thought they would ever face such an adversary. Sadly this came to pass. As we all know by now, through a series of sordid deal between politicians and greedy multinationals, the area of Ballinaboy was picked as the site for Shell to steal and process 51 billion of our gas. For more see http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84515 . As many of us are aware the communities from Erris have put up a tremendous Eight year struggle to stop their area being devastated by an onshore refinery whilst also protect our natural resources, a resource that could fund health service, pensions and renewable secure energy.

Throughout this struggle Shell have used their usual tactics, the extremity of which has been honed down as Rossport has the privledge of being situated in Western Europe. Unfortunately the stakes are equal; illhealth and potential death from emissions are equally lethal no matter where you are, and our lack of resources (if allowed to be stolen by Shell) in the future will be lethal if we can't fund our already crumbling health service. This is why the resistance is so dogged and so important. This was perhaps best encapsulated in the attached interview with Kuro an activist from the Niger Delta who has seen the lethal effects of what Shell's operations: "It is my opinion, every measure should be taken to make sure the community is not the victim for what we know that can happen to the environment.....It is a vital cause for every well-meaning Irish person to be involved in".

November the tenth is also a a dark day on Shell's record in Ballinaboy. On this day in 2006 the communities in struggle and their national supporters organised a day to commerate the execution of the Ogoni 9. The response fle was learned as Shell to Sea backed down. But over a year of violence, intimidation and bullying, Shell to Sea has definitely now learned that giving in, backing down or shying away from a bully only gives them confidence. This is why November the tenth is so important. This issue has grown so much bigger than Rossport. Without protests and blockades to mark November the tenth, we would be showing that batoning peaceful protestors works. John Monaghan from Rossport perharom the authorities was incredible. This peaceful protest was batton charged by the Gardai again brought to the local community by Shell. Several protestors were injured and some were hospitalised, one very seriously.

Shell seem to learned little from their experiences, from the Niger Delta to Mayo. They use violence harassment, bribery, division jail and worse as their modus operandi. Production from their fields in the Niger Delta is rarely anywhere near full production, whilst in ballinaboy, refining, although supposed to be up and running is sevral years behind schedule with no refinery or even route for their pipeline.

Kuro an activist from the Niger Delta who has seen the lethal effects of Shell's operations: "It is my opinion, every measure should be taken to make sure the community is not the victim for what we know that can happen to the environment.....It is a vital cause for every wellmeaning Irish person to be involved in".ng, is years behind schedule, with no refinery built and no pipeline route as of yet! Violence doesn't work in Nigeria and it won't work in Mayo.

What have Shell to Sea learned?
It was arguable after the batton charge last year, little was learned as Shell to Sea backed down. But over a year of violence, intimidation bullying, Shell to Sea on its learning curve has definitely now realised that giving in, backing down or shying away from a bully only gives them confidence. This is why November the ninth (the day chosen to commerate the tenth) is so important. This issue has grown so much bigger than Rossport. Without protests and blockades to mark November the tenth, we would be showing that batoning peaceful protestors works. John Monaghan from Rossport perhaps outlined the reasons to go to Erris in a nutshell when he quipped "Some people refer to Broadhaven bay where we live as Guantanamo bay. It's a very strange place. The rule of law seems to be able to be suspended for private companies".

We must show this cannot stand. It won't- we'll be there on the 9th of November to stop it. Will you?

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

The Day of Action on October 12th
The Day of Action on October 12th



Interview with Kuro activist from the Niger Delta
audio Interview with Kuro activist from the Niger Delta 4.21 Mb



Interview with Pat "the chief" O donnell -Porturlin Erris Co Mayo
audio Interview with Pat "the chief" O donnell -Porturlin Erris Co Mayo 0.62 Mb

author by Sean Mallorypublication date Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dublin bus to mayo- leaves Dublin thursday Nov 8th at 18-30 from Hugh Lane gallery on Parnell sq. north (call or text 086 1609850). Car pool from Cork. More Info will follow for Limerick Galway Belfast etc.

author by sarahpublication date Tue Oct 30, 2007 13:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Times weekly head2head poll finished on Sunday with 84% of voters stating that they belive that the Corrib project is bad for the local community, no sign of Shell's silent majority there....

Bring on the 9th, when the numbers at Ballinaboy should show this more clearly than ever!

Related Link: http://scripts.ireland.com/polls/head2head/index.cfm?fuseaction=yesnopoll&pollid=8030&subsiteid=352
author by rrpublication date Wed Oct 31, 2007 14:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yesterday afternoon, RPS drilling work was again disrupted on the Coillte site in Leanamor. One protestor who crawled under the drilling rig was dragged out by the new Superintendent John Gilligan. Presumably this was his attempt to show his new charges that he too is willing to get down and dirty for Shell. The protestor was arrested and brought to Belmullet station but was released without charge shortly after. Drilling work resumed after about 2 hours once garda reinforcements arrived.

This morning at the picket there was a large garda presence with at least 4 paddy wagons and 4 garda cars around the area. Trucks were blocked for a short period but protestors were moved on by the gardai

img_2303.jpg

img_2465.jpg

img_2486.jpg

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84805
author by rrpublication date Wed Oct 31, 2007 15:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.

img_2526.jpg

img_2531.jpg

author by FBGpublication date Wed Oct 31, 2007 16:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Recognise the Garda?

shell_ireland_3.jpg

author by Tonypublication date Wed Oct 31, 2007 16:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just to clarify something, as someone from the engineering fraternity, RPS wouldn't be drilling anything. They're consultants, not contractors.

author by JMpublication date Wed Oct 31, 2007 22:56author address Rossportauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Rural Planning Services have been hired by Shell to manufacture the concept of community input into re-routing an unwanted pipeline to an unwanted refinery.

RPS personnel have been present at all the borehole sites in the area, and the drilling itself has been announced by RPS as part of their investigative work (which is apparently several weeks behind schedule by their own account).

When the unauthorised drilling and heavy traffic movements on a Special Area of Conservation were discovered and highlighted by the local community, RPS issued a statement making excuses for themselves and Shell.

RPS are entirely responsible (reportedly much to Shell's amusement) for the recent mess surrounding the Corrib controversy, and especially the borehole drilling.

RPS crew reluctantly removing drilling gear from Rossport
RPS crew reluctantly removing drilling gear from Rossport

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com/
author by Gra - Dublin Shell To Seapublication date Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Therw will be a protest at Shell Hq at 12 on Friday the 9th in solidarity with the Day of Action In Rossport.

For further details see http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84888

author by JMpublication date Wed Nov 07, 2007 02:25author address Rossportauthor phone Report this post to the editors

History tends to repeat itself... never forget.

Kilcommon Parish, Erris - 1881
Kilcommon Parish, Erris - 1881

Kilcommon Parish, Erris - 2006
Kilcommon Parish, Erris - 2006

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com/
author by Cookiemonster - Politics.iepublication date Wed Nov 07, 2007 19:34author email cookiemonster at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Let Shell get on with their work. Shell has a legal right to develop the Corrib gas field. Stop wasteing the Guards time, Stop wasteing Shells time and obey the LAW.

author by Michael Gallagher - Photographerpublication date Thu Nov 08, 2007 01:30author email libertypix at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

The photo at the head of this is part of a photo essay from the last action day last month.
Type in Bellanaboy to Pullathomas in the search box to find it and some comments/info on the day itself. You can see a better version of the essay on the link below.

Related Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/libertypix
author by ccpublication date Thu Nov 08, 2007 09:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Obey the Law? Tell that to Shell/RPS when they damage a Special Area of Conservation without permission - illegally, when they construct pipelines without permission - illegally.
Or should the law apply to certain people only?
FYI - nobody wants to prevent Shell developing the Corrib gas field - it is their methods that the people of Erris object to. It is the giveaway of our natural resources that the people of Ireland object to.

author by Nostradamuspublication date Thu Nov 08, 2007 09:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The EPA are about to grant $hell E&P a IPPC licence, this will occur next week, the reason they havent yet announced it is that they/gov are waiting until after fridays protest.
I will post another prophecy late next week, valete

author by jms - supppublication date Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors


ShellToSea is holding a commemoration march at Shell's proposed Bellanaboy refinery site in Mayo this Friday morning 9th November at 7.00 am. This march is to mark the 12th anniversary (10th November 1995) of the State execution of Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and his eight comrades, who were high profile opponents of Shell's environmental destruction of their homeland.

This occasion also marks the first anniversary of the baton-charge of peaceful demonstrators at a similar march in Mayo last year.

ShellToSea has always accepted and employed the legitimate use of non-violent direct action as a tool of opposition to the proposed project, and acknowledges the right and duty of every individual to seek justice on and show opposition to the project in a responsible way.

In contrast to Truth and Non-violence, any methods employing deception and/or verbal and physical assault on any person, by any individual, are to be condemned without reservation.

This anniversary is a significant global day of solidarity, and ShellToSea calls on all fair-minded people to remember the communities who suffer at the hands of oil companies and their projects around the world.

END

For comment or verification call Mary Corduff on +353 (0)86 3961847

author by Michael Gallagher - Photographerpublication date Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

**Sorry, type my name into the search box and the essay will come up...there's over 30 images.

If you're a photos fan, check out the link below for some great political photos under such headings as, socialism, anti war, war, capitalismo, peace justice etc etc....

If you're not a photos fan, check out the link below for some great political photos under such headings as, socialism, anti war, war, capitalismo, peace justice etc etc....

Just type in the link below and enter a name in the site search box for a category. For example, you can join any group as a non member such as> A Case For Socialism In Your Country . In Pictures And Words.

Related Link: http://www.flickr.com
author by pm - mospublication date Thu Nov 08, 2007 16:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors


* Goodbody Economic Consultants’ report says Corrib Gas will contribute €3bn to GDP over the lifespan of the project
* Corrib Gas project will provide approx. 60% of Ireland’s natural gas needs at peak production
* Public consultation underway to select alternative pipeline route
* Construction of onshore terminal commenced in September
* Over 800 jobs to be created during construction phase and approx. 130 permanent jobs created thereafter

An independent report from Goodbody Economic Consultants, commissioned by the Corrib Gas Partners, estimates that the Corrib Gas project will contribute over €3bn to Ireland’s GDP over its lifespan, supplying 60% of the country’s natural gas needs at peak production. The gas field is estimated to yield approximately one trillion cubic feet of natural gas over an operating life of fifteen to twenty years.

The Goodbody Economic Consultants’ report also states that the Corrib Gas project will make a significant contribution to national energy policy by moderating Ireland’s dependence on imported energy. It will also provide stable and economic energy supplies, enhancing the sustainability of existing industry in the BMW region.

The Corrib project has led to a decision to extend the natural gas network to the North West. Already twelve towns are to receive natural gas. This expansion has been enabled by the construction of a Bord Gais pipeline connecting the Corrib gas processing terminal to the main Bord Gais network, a pipeline funded predominantly by the Corrib partners.

The Goodbody report also states that successful completion of the Corrib project will encourage further energy exploration activity off the Irish coast.

During the construction phase of the project, the local Mayo economy will directly benefit by approximately €181m. In relation to employment, the Goodbody Economic Consultants’ report states that the project is expected to create over 800 jobs during the construction phase, with an estimated 130 permanent jobs to be created for the ongoing running of the project over fifteen to twenty year lifespan. Employment created by the the Corrib project and the purchase of goods and services from local suppliers is expected to significantly boost the local and national economy.

Bernard Feeney, Managing Director, Goodbody Economic Consultants and co-author of the report said: “Major investment projects such as the Corrib Gas project impact on the economy in two ways, firstly, the spending arising from the construction and operation of the project boosts economic activity. Secondly, the presence of the new economic activity will have so called dynamic effects, as it encourages investment by other firms and changes the structure of the local and national economies.”

“The construction and operation of the facility will give rise to significant additional local employment. Although the Irish economy as a whole has been operating at or close to full employment for a number of years there are still regions of the country where additional employment or an increase in the skill and income level of the employment opportunities available are needed.”

Alternative onshore pipeline route

The Corrib Gas partners are currently working to find an alternative route for the onshore pipeline. Following a period of public consultation, three alternative pipeline corridors have been identified. Technical evaluation on and around these corridors is progressing and public consultation will continue throughout the process. Once the new route has been selected, the Corrib Gas Partners will then make an application to An Bord Pleanala and the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for the relevant consent for the modified pipeline route

author by Soundmigrationpublication date Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE

"Three protesters were arrested and another was hospitalized as officers cleared away a sit-down protest at the gates of Royal Dutch Shell PLC's planned refinery in the unpopulated bogland of Bellanaboy in County Mayo, police said.

Shell to Sea, a protest group that has mounted several similar protests since construction of the Bellanaboy facility began 13 months ago, said a truck carrying Shell workers ran over a protester's foot.

The group vowed to keep trying to hamper the construction work all day. Its protest was timed to coincide with the 12th anniversary of Nigeria's execution of nine anti-Shell campaigners, including writer Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Anti-globalization activists have struggled in vain to persuade the government to withdraw support for the Shell project in Ireland, a long-booming country that is highly dependent on imported fuel......"

read more at
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/09/europe/EU-GEN...t.php

BANGKOK POST
excerpt below

"Who are the real climate leaders?

Any serious climate change movement will have to connect with local communities that are battling fossil fuel projects

By LARRY LOHMANN

Forget, for a moment, the Kyoto Protocol and the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme. Leave aside the burgeoning carbon ''offset'' business. If you're looking for real progress on climate change, your time might be better spent paying a visit to a couple of coastal towns in southern Thailand.

For travellers on the road from Bangkok to Malaysia, the crossroads at Bo Nok, Baan Krut might seem only a collection of rice fields, fishing boats, tourist resorts, coconut trees, temples and shops.

Yet this is a community that defeated corporate and state plans to build one of the biggest coal-fired power plants in Thailand on its beachfront.

The victory cost years of sweat and blood.

Charoen Wat-Aksorn spoke up about corrupt land grabs connected with the project and was murdered in 2004.

Other villagers spent countless hours exposing the fraudulence of its environmental impact assessment in recognition of which Jintana Kaewkhao, a local woman who never finished high school, was awarded an honorary PhD.

Today the community is consolidating its gains, exploring wind-powered electricity and lending a hand to communities battling fossil fuel projects elsewhere.

One such community lies several hundred kilometres south in Chana district. Chana's local monster is a prestigious Thai-Malaysian natural gas pipeline and refining venture backed by Thailand's ousted tycoon prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Chana is less lucky than its sister community to the north.

After years of fraudulent land deals, bribes and intimidation and beatings by police, a huge gas separation plant now defiantly sits on community wakaf land _ a supposedly inalienable Muslim commons entrusted to God _ drawing gas from a pipeline illegally forced across a local beach.

A gas-fired power plant is going up. Chemical works may not be far behind.

But villagers are not giving up.

They say that they are fighting not only for their lives and religion, but for a natural heritage that belongs to the whole country.

Some professional climate activists slight such local struggles as secondary to the task of negotiating global emissions reduction targets.

They forget that dealing with climate change means, above all, finding practical means of keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

As eminent climatologist Jim Hansen reiterated in June, burning the Earth's remaining coal, oil and gas ''would guarantee dramatic climate change, yielding a different planet from the one on which civilisation developed''.

No one is better informed about what it will take to prevent that happening than communities like Bo Nok and Chana.

Their experience reminds us that however brilliantly the world theorises ways of getting carbon out of energy, it is also going to have to get energy companies out of fossil fuel deposits.

Any serious climate change movement will have to connect with such communities everywhere, whether they are battling Shell in the Niger delta or in Rossport in Ireland or contesting the huge new National Grid gas pipeline in South Wales.

These are communities dialled into the politics of the future....."

See more at
http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/10Nov2007_news17.php

author by Amazed!publication date Tue Nov 13, 2007 14:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

See above post by "Nostradamus Thu Nov 08, 2007 09:57"
http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/1113/shell.html
uncanny or what!

author by Maura Harrington - S2S; Davitt Leaguepublication date Tue Nov 13, 2007 15:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Grant you last post's 'prophecy' Nostradamus - of course, not knowing who you are takes away from it a little; you could be an EPA bod or, heaven forfend, a $hell suit (but of course they couldn't have known then - silly me!).

Now for the difficult bit - let's hear your prophecy for when, whether or if the proposed refinery will ever be able to use its pollution licence??

author by Nostradamuspublication date Tue Nov 13, 2007 19:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My prophecy for when, whether or if the proposed refinery will ever be able to use its pollution licence!
This project will be complete and operational ahead of schedule.
One of the most vocal, local "protestors" will sup from Shells cup !
History will show the truth, valete

author by Maura Harrington - S2S; Davitt Leaguepublication date Tue Nov 13, 2007 20:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Very buoyed with your success to date; as already stated, that's entirely dependant on who you may be ...

You neglect to give a year for 'complete and operational ahead of schedule'.

Given that this proposed project was supposed to be 'operational' at end 2003 (or else the lights would go out) should we be talking prophecy or hindsight??

author by just mepublication date Tue Nov 13, 2007 20:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"should we be talking prophecy or hindsight"
maybe we should precieve reality!

author by Shell gamepublication date Tue Nov 13, 2007 21:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

9.9million cubic metres of gas per day = = 349. 6 million cubic feet

Natural gas is converted to barrels of oil equivalent using a ratio of
5,487 cubic feet of natural gas per one barrel of crude oil.

therefore Shell's throughput of energy will be 63,717 barrels of oil equivalent

Which at today's price (apprx 90dollars per barrel) =$5,734530 dollars per day.

That's nearly six million dollars worth of energy going through Bellanaboy every day for 20 years.

Pity we won't see any of it...

Oil indystry experts please come along and tell us why the maths are wrong, the estimates are out, it's all too much for us to understand...

author by Dpublication date Tue Nov 13, 2007 22:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As you say, 9.9 million cubic metres = 349.6 million cubic feet.

The increase in gas prices has lagged considerably behind that for oil and 1 thousand cubic feet of gas is cuurently worth around €5.00. Therefore, assuming gas is produced at the maximum rate permitted, income would be about €1.75 million/day at peak production. However, that wont last anything like 20 years - peak production will only continue for maybe 3-4 years and the production rate will then start a steady decline.

After costs, that should still represent a reasonable profit which is great news for Ireland because Shell and the other Corrib partners will pay 25% of profit to the Government in tax.

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