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(en) Ireland, Anarchist journal Workers Solidarty #92 - Rossport Solidarity Weekend

Date Wed, 05 Jul 2006 09:58:03 +0300

The sweltering sun of the June Bank holiday weekend shone down
on over one hundred and fifty people attending a gathering at
the Rossport Solidarity Camp. This marked the first anniversary
of the Solidarity Gathering last June, at which Shell
to Sea groups for different parts of the country were
established and at which the camp was born. The camp
has been a base for people to travel to the area to join
in the residents' pickets and other actions against Shell.
The gathering focused on resistance to the privatisation
of natural resources and had talks on the situations in regard
to that in Ireland, Bolivia and Venezuela.
The recently formed activist
film group Revolt Video ran
a cinema for the duration of
the weekend, as well as filming the entire event.
Workshops included bender construction, this
being a form of large tent made out of bendable
hazel poles, and long drawing, which involved
a whole bunch of people collectively making a
painting of Broadhaven bay.
The weekend also featured report backs from the
Afghan hunger strike solidarity protest, from an
anti-pylon campaign in Bantry, and from a cam-
paign in Limerick which is seeking to prevent a
community from being switched to a polluted
public water supply. On Saturday night there was
a trad session in a nearby pub, and on Sunday
night there were djs on the beach.
At the moment Shell and the state are attempting
to keep things low key and use time to demobi-
lise the opposition to the destruction of Erris and
the robbery of our gas. We have to counter this
by becoming more proactive. We need to draw
greater public attention to the situation in regard
to the privatisation of natural resources,
and link this up with the under funding
crisis in the health service. We need to
stress what the gas, and probable oil, off
our coast could pay for, if it were not be-
ing given away for next to nothing. That
sounds like an overstatement, but the fact
is, between 1987 and 1992 successive
governments switched the tax regime for
oil and gas exploitation from 50% to 25%
with tax write offs for production and ex-
ploration costs going back decades. Hence
a company can claim its costs as tax, and
pay less tax. We need to campaign more
for our natural resources to be used to pay
for our schools and hospitals.
The opposition to Shell's hell for Mayo has
been very successful up to this point, and
is very winnable, but there is no room for
complacency. We need your involvement
in order to win.
You can get in touch with Rossport Solidarity
Camp by contacting: 087 6543425 (Tracey) 086
3588890 (Michael). For more information see: in-
dymedia.ie/mayo, struggle.ws/rsc or shelltosea.com
Terry Dunne
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