Video: Shell 2 Sea protest over June Bank Holiday in Erris

Over the June Bank Holiday weekend dozens of people traveled from all over Ireland to Erris to join locals in ongoing resistance to Shell's project of imposing an experimental gas pipeline on the local community. I travelled down on the Dublin bus, an early 8.15 start complete with monitoring secret police car, for the 5+ hour journey right across the island to Erris at the western tip.

The weekend, organised by the Rossport Solidarity Camp, consisted of workshops that covered everything from various forms of 'direct action' training to the details of the 'Great Gas and Oil giveaway' that looked at just how many billions the Irish state had given to Shell and other corporations.  A number of activists had come over from Britian for the weekend and quite a number of the training sessions were led by them.  There was a big party in one of the tents on Saturday night where US single David Rovics played and among others a pretty amazing punk band from Galway. There was a good deal of socialising over the weekend (a local pub held a well attended fundraiser on the Sunday night) although the downside of this was perhaps a little too much drinking and sore heads the following morning!

Then on the Sunday Dublin Shell to Sea put together a very good workshop on the Great Gas (and Oil) Ripoff which looked at just how much Shell and the otehr corporations are getting away with before, after a brief meeting, around 150 people went down to the Shell compound where they attempted to remove a section of the fence. They were prevented doing so by a very large force of Gardai led by the Public Order Unit although three people did manage to enter the compound. Eight people were arrested, all were released later that evening. There were also a number of minor injuries.

The video below records what happened on the Sunday. On the Monday a couple of dozen people did gain entry to the site at low tide and demolished part of the causeway that had been constructed. And on Tuesday when a dredger arrived in Broadhaven bay it was prevented working for a few hours when two people evaded the Shell/Gardai patrol boats in the bay and climbed onto the dredger for a few hours. has regular updates from Erris as resistance to Shell's project continued.

I threw the video together very quickly on the Tuesday using a mixture of still and video I had shot on my Cannon point & click and edited in iMovie.  I was still pretty wrecked from the weekend and I've spotted one minor spelling mistake so I was a little nervous putting it up. So far the feedback I've received is pretty positive.  I think it may be a little 'busy' between the voice over and the constant captions so please feedback on that aspect in particular.

Overall the weekend was successful in bringing a good number of new people to Erris and renewing the contacts between exisiting campaigners. One problem I had was the very noticable tendency to substitute organisational improvement for political / tactical debate.  For instance rather than have a debate about opposing strategies at the wind up meeting we ended up splitting into small groups which reported back and which left us with a huge list of every possible action / tactic and no time to select between them as the buses had to leave.

Meanwhile I'm researching an article on the bizarre role of people who had worked in security at the Shell compound in trying to spark a civil war in Bolivia.  It's taking longer than I hoped as more and more details keep emerging and its going to be hard to do justice to the story.  I've been posting updates to my Facebook profile over the last days so some of you will have had a fair taste of just how weird some of this is.


It's good. Very informative

It's good. Very informative and gives a sense of what is going on. I don't think it's too "busy" with information at all, although that may be because its a relatively familiar subject for me. It's definitely worth distributing. Fair play to you for knocking this out so quickly!


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