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Shell Ruling

6.29.2005

The jailing of five Mayo farmers for having the nerve to protest at the construction of a pipeline through their land is a sad day for all of us.
The protests by these people to protect their land from the havoc which accompanies the extraction of oil and gas in the presence of a multi-national.
unsurprisingly the lot over at indymedia have been first to arrive at the scene while RTE and other media outlets online are quiet. There take on things is here.
apparently the judges position on all this is rather disquieting and not reassuring for the broader state of things in Ireland at the moment.
I for one think all who can should attempt to make the protest at mountjoy only that it has actually started. Whoops. My bad.
Anyway the affront to our right to protest has just been binned today. According to Noel Dempsey speaking on 5-Live there is no ministerial authorisation for building to begin and as such the men are in my eye full justified in protesting. The problem here is that the big corporate again commands the loyalty of an establishment that is willing to siphon off E10,000 in taxpayers money daily to finance US overflight. This place is rotten to the core and when a man decides that building a pipeline which is unprecedented in format and style shouldn't happen on his land he is landed in jail.
My sympathies go to the family of these men tonight as they could be in for a long stay in the Joy.
More background to this case is located at shellfacts and the full Joe Higgins Statement from outside the court today is also posted on indy .
As Higgins points out, Shell are not paying royalties and securing valuable tax write off s to exploit the site. This is because the site is so bloody difficult to work and the corporation has backed the government into a corner. This is unworkable in the face of such malpractice across the world and particularly in Africa this cannot infest our working at home. Taking the people from the picket line is not on. There is a clear need for Dempsey to reexamine the whole set up of the project in light of the fact that it is not the best available model and so much danger is posed to those living in the region of the pipe. Bear in mind oil majors have a terrible record of cleaning messes from pipeline breakage and also a terrible record on actually maintaining those pipes.
This whole mess stinks and we should all get behind the protest at this injustice.
RR

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