Riot police were held on stand by.
Protesters were dragged and lifted out of the way and kept in a police pen, cars were towed away and two people were injured by the police.
This is the first time the state and Shell have regained control over the site since early July 2005.
A small amount of machinery and 50 to 70 workers were able to access.
Solidarity actions at police stations, Shell stations, and Shell offices are being organised around Ireland.
For along time most campaign activity was to be found in the local area directly affected by Shell’s project, with the current outrage over the states’ action it is hoped the campaign will widen in scope and the community in North Mayo will not be isolated.
Today’s police assault was proceeded by smear stories in the media to the effect that the Shell to Sea campaign is being run by the Provisional I.R.A. .
Provo baiting is a good way of gearing Irish cops up for repression, and easing the consciences of right wing elements of the Irish public.
Shell to Sea campaigners and participants in Rossport Solidarity Camp have long predicted that coercion would be used to force this development against an unwilling population.
It has admittedly came sooner than we had expected, personally I felt the increased police presence would come after the next election (due in the spring of 2007) not now.
The mood is determined and resilient We have not come this far to be turned away by a swarm of shiny yellow jackets. For the core of the campaign there is no alternative but to stand fast in defence of home, family and life. There is 3 years worth of building to go into the refinery site, so they will have to repeat today’s performance for 1,095 days.
Their schedule of development has it that peat removal is to begin in mid-Spring 2007 (the site is a bog and a lot of the peat must be removed before they start proper building) and actual construction to begin mid July 2007.
There is a lot on the line. Their project will render a slice of Ireland’s Atlantic seaboard uninhabitable.
Our resistance has already inspired more communities to favour direct action and political campaigning rather than restricting themselves to institutional means.
There are considerable amounts of oil and gas off the Irish coast, according to industry sources, and Exxon Mobil (Esso) have interests here, along with Tony O’Reilly the press baron (owns the bulk of Irish papers).
We will defend our island whatever the cost may be, we will never surrender.
There is a full report and photos here: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/78788