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(en) Update on Shell campaign in Ireland and news of picket on Statoil Ushers Quay Release the Rossport 5

Date Tue, 09 Aug 2005 11:11:07 +0300

Over a dozen people picketed Statoil on Ushers Quay on Friday 5th
August as part of the ongoing campaign of solidarity with the 5 men
jailed for resisting a potentially dangerous gas pipeline being built
near their houses. Significant victories have now been won in the campaign.
The campaign has won some major victories in the last couple of
weeks. First Shell abandoned all land based pipeline work for the
year. Shortly after this - when facing the threat of a blockade fleet of
local fishermen - it announced it was also abandoning pipelaying at
sea for the year. But it has refused to remove the injunction that is
keeping the Rossport 5 in prison - despite the fact that the work they
had been preventing has been abandoned.

Members of the WSM* had also distributed 1000 leaflets door to door
in the area two nights before the picket advertising it and explaining
the background of the case. The leaflet text follows.

Force Statoil to back down at Rossport
5 men still in jail
Picket the Statoil on Ushers Quay 6pm Friday 5th August

The Rossport 5 have been jail since June 29th because they won't
obey a court order not to obstruct the building of a high pressure gas
pipeline passing through their own lands. The state has lined up
behind the gas consortium of Shell, Statoil and Marathon.

Shell intends to employ a new, and previously, untried technology at
Corrib. This technology is experimental and contains dangers of
explosion, which would incinerate those living nearby.

No royalties will be paid to the Irish government and an
extraordinarily low rate of tax was arranged, all of which the
consortium will be able to write off. In other places in Europe the
state takes 55% or even 79% of a field. Maybe Bertie thinks we don't
need the cash for our hospitals?

There used to be a tax rate of 50%, an automatic 50% state stake in
any commercial well, and royalties of 6%- 7%. In 1987 Ray Burke
got rid of the 50% state stake and removed royalties. In 1992 Bobby
Molloy reduced the tax rate to 25%, and 100% tax write offs were
introduced, meaning that the companies can subtract their costs
from their tax bill.

The government is giving them our gas for practically nothing and
then we will have to buy it back. The millionaires are good at looking
after each other. We should do the same, today that means
supporting the ordinary people of Rossport. With others the local
group of the Workers Solidarity Movement will be picketing the
Statoil on Ushers Quay this Friday - come down and join us.
More details on the Corrib gas pipeline and the Rossport 5
* WSM is an anarchist federation.

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