Shell to Sea 'All the facts' leaflet published

A couple of weeks ago Dublin Shell to Sea finished work on the 'All the Facts' leaflet some 120,000 of which are now being printed.  The basic idea to to try and get mass awareness of the facts of this struggle and in particular the 'Great Oil & Gas Give-away.' This is what Shell to Sea are calling the deal that has been given to Shell and other corporations under which they will pay almost no tax and no royalties on the vast wealth in gas and oil that lies in Irish waters and that they have been given by the Irish state.

I helped write and edit the leaflet, this work has been going on all summer ever since the idea of the leaflet arose in the spring.  The problem we face is that much of Ireland's media is either state owned or owned by the O'Reilly family who also own of the Irish energy exploration companies.  So as hard as it normally is to get reasonable coverage of community struggles from the mainstream media the situation in this case is particularly ridiculous.  Add to this the unknown millions Shell have spent on PR to attack the campaign and push their pipeline. 

This has reached crazy levels, in the spring shock horror crime correspondent Paul Williams got away with producing a supposed documentary on the campaign that was full of docu-drama effects as the only back up to various nutty and paranoid assertions.  So bad as to be quite funny except of course that people who know nothing else are liable to be taken in.  The Phoenix revealed that William's had been a guest of Shell at the Croke Park Ireland v England Rugby match.

Anyone following the blog or my facebook page will already have seen some of my reports from various events around the campaign and hopefully you'll also have read the extraordinary story revealed in 'The Shadow over Erris'.  It is a ridiculously mismatched struggle, it was recently revealed that in the last 3 years of the struggle alone the Irish state has spent an incredible 49 million euro on the suppression of protest.  We've not only had the Navy and Air-force deployed against us but they have spent a similar amount on policing as they have on the Dublin or Limerick gang feuds in which many have been shot dead and areas of those cities terrorised.

Now with the recession the billions that are been given to the energy corporations could be used to pay for the health and education services that people in Ireland need.  They could head off the pay cuts being imposed on public sector workers.  They could be used for a massive program of much needed public construction, new schools, hospitals and rail lines.

So as we approach the Spring when it is expected Shell will force the last stage of the project through with the backing of yet another massive mobilisation of state forces the 'All the Facts' leaflet is going up against the Shell PR machine and the virtual media monopoly of state and private interests that have an interest in forcing the project through.  It's a bit of a tall order, a budget of a few thousand for printing against what looks like the 100 million plus that the other side has spent to date in suppressing the campaign.   The image I used with the blog is a photo I took of Maura Harrington with the leaflet speaking at a recent demonstration against NAMA, Maura has been jailed four times this year in connection with the campaign and we had nearly 50 people up in court cases last week.

I wrote the first draft of three of the pieces in the leaflet although I'd emphasis we did weeks of editing both in Dublin and Berlin on all the texts so the work on those segments is hardly mine alone.  But I did the drafts for
The Shell to Sea campaign so far
Why is Shell’s experimental pipeline in Mayo so dangerous?
Ireland’s offshore oil & gas worth at least €420,000,000,000

We have had the leaflet for a couple of weeks but were waiting for the end of the Lisbon campaign before starting mass distribution.  Some have been given out at protests in Dublin and elsewhere and to date the feedback has been very good indeed although of course this is what we'd expect to be the most sympathetic audience. I was relived in particular that people got the joke in the name of the publication, the Someday Independent being a reference to the largest circulation Sunday paper, the Sunday Independent owned by the O'Reilly family.

Anyway if your in Ireland you might like to give a hand with the distribution, contact your local Shell to Sea group or contact Dublin Shell to Sea.  If your outside Ireland feel free to print out the PDF file of the leaflet and use it locally to generate whatever international solidarity you can.  Looks like we are going to need it!

Read All the Facts online


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