From Monday the 11th of September onwards we have been on a heightened state of alert in Mayo.
At most crucial moments this has involved people staying up all night to keep watch on the gates of the onetime refinery construction site in Ballinaboy, and the picket there starting up at between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. instead of between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. with numbers at around one hundred rather than the usual half a dozen. Last Tuesday September 26th the cops and Shell sub-contractors arrived, but were turned away.
When they don’t show up the situation is not that they are not trying to get in. Each day they are being stopped.
You can be sure that numbers at the picket are being checked each day and that various means are being employed to lessen the mobilisation, such as smear stories in the media, an increased police presence, intimidatory intelligence gathering, extra security guards.
This is a test of determination and resilience. The sub-contractors have been mobilised to be ready to enter the site. This is an attack, for the most part not very spectacular but very real nonetheless.
At the time of writing - the 3rd of October - police, brought in from around the country, are gathering in a nearby town, mostly likely to attempt to break the picket.
Shell’s currently published schedule had them doing preparatory civil engineering works and water treatment from September onwards, peat removal in spring 07, and full scale refinery construction in mid July 07.
One analysis has it that it is crucial for them to sort out the water-logged almost lake like mess the site has become, which is only going to become worse as winter beckons, hence the current push.
Solidarity actions at the premises of Shell or the Irish state are very welcome.
More information see: www.shelltosea.com www.indymedia.ie/mayo www.struggle.ws/rsc/
Or call (00353) 857629614