London Indymedia

22/03/07 - Norwegian Embassy/Statoil protest - human rights in Rossport

Oscar Beard | 23.03.2007 01:15 | Rossport Solidarity | Ecology | Repression | Social Struggles | London | World

Today saw a human rights demonstration at the Norwegian Embassy in London in support and solidarity with the people of Rossport, County Mayo, Ireland.

From the press release:

"The demonstration held today, by a nation-wide autonomous collective (and one dog), was highlighting Norway's state-owned Statoil and gas company's present involvement in the West of Ireland at Rossport, County Mayo.

Statoil has an alleged "ethical policy", but there are no ethics involved in this development and no local support or consultation. The company, and thus the Norwegian government, are promoting human rights abuses by supporting the Irish State's policy of brutal suppression of the right to protest using the Irish police (Garda), and polluting Carrowmore Lake, the local drinking water supply.

This group is issuing a demand to Norway and Statoil to stop its part in this development or face a call for a tourist boycott of Norway and disruption of Norwegian trade and commerce to the UK."

The dog bit was not in the original release, that was my lil' add on. So, sue me.

As the video shows the banner blocking the door lasted as long as it took the ten or more heavily armed police officers from the Metropolitan Diplomatic Division to arrive. They removed the banner immediately and ushered the protestors into one specific area of the pavement.

Two Irish citizens then decided to try to apply for a Norwegian passport, as Norway has profited massively from Irish natural resources, producing far superior health and education prospects in Norway than in Ireland. So they figured the least Norway could give back was a free passport and access to their health care.

The representative, as the video shows, seemed to find the whole thing funny at first, but watch his smile drop as he is shown printed images from the recent month's of violence the local community of Rossport have suffered at the hands of the Garda.

As reported in the 6 November 2006 release of Garda Review, Superintendent Joe Gannon, who is in charge of policing the Shell/Statoil Corrib Gas Terminal construction site, was quoted: "There were no arrests. That was part of our strategy; we did not want to facilitate anyone down there with a route to martyrdom. There has been that policy ever since."

No arrests. But baton charges, throwing old men and women in ten-foot deep trenches, punching, kicking, martial arts techniques and daily intimidation are acceptable, it seems from this journalist's own experiences over the last month.

Oscar Beard
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Hide the following 3 comments

Nice action!

24.03.2007 01:39

Well done folks and thanks!

A few recent developments our comrades on the mainland mightn't have heard of...

Yesterday, Friday, up to sixty local people engaged in a mass trespass of the site after it was noticed that contaminated water was being allowed run off the site into the local drinking water supply. See the following links

In a separate but certainly related incident, the public relations firm in Dublin with the Corrib account has recently let it be known that it no longer wishes to be considered for renewal of its contract. Another bunch of liars are queueing up to spin the shite for Shell, with the very same political connections to the Fianna Fáil government. More work I fear for the charming comrade with the LSE degree who handles their PR in house.

This is from the Irish Times of February 23 last (the website is subscription only):

All change for Shell in the public relations stakes

Current Account: SHELL E&P Ireland is not known to be shy when it comes to the press - particularly since its extensive shake-up of public relations over a year ago after the 94-day jailing of the Rossport Five. However, one detected a slight coyness within the company this week about the future of its "external communications support".

Up to now this combination of public relations and backroom lobbying has been provided for the troubled Corrib gas project by lobbyists Financial Dynamics (FD), headed by Paul MacSharry, and Powerscourt Media, co-founded by Irish journalist Rory Godson. However, FD's three-year contract is up, and Shell confirmed to Current Account that the PR company had asked "not to be considered" for any new consultancy arrangement.

Shell says it is "still in the process" of appointing an alternative, but the successor is believed to be Q4 Public Relations, run by former FF press handlers Jackie Gallagher

(ex-Irish Times and Bertie Ahern's advisor from 1994 to 1998), Martin Mackin, along with Angie Kinnane, formerly of FD, and Gerry O'Sullivan, Eircom's former director of corporate affairs.

With some State consents still to be secured for aspects of the project, it would appear Shell is still banking on FF in power after the general election.




24.03.2007 11:20

Thanks a million for couragous actions carried out in solidarity with besieged communities in Nth Mayo - your persistence strenghtens ours .... this is a fight to the finish which can AND WILL be won.

Hope to meet as many of you as possible at the S/hellface - it's going to be an interesting year ...

Thanks again, Maura

Maura Harrington

keep up the good fight

27.03.2007 15:07

well done to all involved, this is not an irish issue , hopefully others will be inspired to take action locally and pressure both shell and statoil to investigate the human rights abuses occuring in mayo.



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