jo | 15.09.2007 15:38 | Rossport Solidarity
Friday morning at 9.30 am, diplomats and passers-by were surprised to witness a "dodgy agreement" between a 'Shell representative' and 'the Taoiseach', and find a 'pipeline under construction' at the Irish Embassy in London. A group of activists had gathered at the Embassy to highlight and shame the Irish Government's involvement with Shell in the construction of a high pressure raw gas pipeline at Rossport in County Mayo.
The demonstrators unveiled their banner: "Bertie Ahern: Shelling Ireland out!" In the style of Charlie Chaplin, activists dressed as Bertie Ahern and a Shell representative performed a series of 'dodgy deals'. The Irish Taoiseach "begged" Shell to "Take ownership of our natural resources – for nothing!", and offered Shell and other oil companies "100% of the profit" with "low taxation", "garda oppression", "false prosecutions of protestors" and "the opportunity to destroy EU-protected environments" as sweeteners. The aim of the performance was to draw to attention the irrationality of the government's support of Shell's construction of the dangerous and experimental pipeline in Mayo.
Anne-Marie O'Reilly, an activist at the embassy this morning, explained:
"I can understand why Shell would be in favour of these terms and wouldn't have any objection to the garda baton charging peaceful protestors. But I cannot comprehend why the government would give away Ireland's resources and allow the destruction of environment and community when there is no benefit to Irish people. Perhaps another story of corruption will emerge when it's too late to stop the pipeline?"
The action coincided with the sit-down protest at the refinery in Bellinaboy and with 'Shell to Sea' solidarity actions in Brighton, Berlin and across Europe.