Smile Politely

Fight against Shell in Ireland and a benefit show at McKinley Foundation

There are currently three community members and former students from Champaign-Urbana, myself, Lindsay Millett, as well as Kathryn Yancey (who will be joining us shortly), living at the Rossport Solidarity Camp in Mayo and helping to fight off Shell.

This evening, Thursday June 18,  a “Let’s Sink Shell Benefit Show” will be held in the basement of the McKinley Foundation on the corner of 5th and John St. in Champaign. All the donations will go to helping the Shell to Sea campaign and fight against Shell to stay alive. There will be lots of good local music by Clarabelle Bean, The Duke of Uke, and Agent Mos. Not to mention good food and a short documentary about what is going on in Mayo! If you are unable to attend the benefit show, but you would like more information about what is currently happening in Ireland just e-mail me at

Here’s a photograph of everyone after an action on the causeway (those are all the Irish gardai behind us).

And another photograph of kayak protestors heading out on the water.

Rossport Solidarity Camp, myself included, wrote the following article — because most of the things on indymedia are written by us all collectively. It is reprinted from Indymedia Ireland:

The Fight Against Shell in Ireland

The Rossport Solidarity Camp in county Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland, was set up in 2005 when five local farmers were imprisoned for trying to protect their land from being destroyed by Shell.

After the atrocities that had occurred in Nigeria (one amongst many incidents: with Shell, Ireland is ready to fight against the laying of a “experimental pipeline.” The Ogoni People of Nigeria have been protesting in a non violent way for over two decades against Shell, for the destruction of their way of life and their environment through jungle clearance Gas flares and oil leakage. Ken Saro Wiwa was one of the leaders of the movement who paid with his life for his part in the campaign. He was hanged with eight other Ogoni on trumped up charges on the 10th November 1995. Like Willie Corduff he was the recipient of the Goldman Enviromental Prize. Recently the Saro Wiwa case in New York ended with a $15 million payout to the family of those murdered in Nigeria. (

In 2008 the Solitaire, the biggest pipe-laying ship in the world, was successfully turned back due to stiff resistance, and it can be done again this year!

A consortium of multinationals backed by the Irish state and led by Shell are trying to build a dangerous, experimental raw gas pipeline and inland gas refinery … from which the oil companies will keep 100% of profits and Irish people have to buy their own gas back from Shell.

Resistance to shell has been intensifying this spring and summer. Local residents and activists from the camp have been occupying tripods and machinery, and blocking trucks in an attempt to stop the building and expanding of Shell’s landfall compound on the beach. Mass actions of over 150 people have dismantled Shell’s compound fences on several occasions. As dredging boats and accompanying security boats returned to the bay, they’ve met numerous water-based actions with work halted many times. ( The dredgers have been occupied twice, once for 10 hours. The locality has huge numbers of Gardaí, & Shell security (some of whom are members of fascist groups), and faces increasingly violent and dangerous attacks. In April Willie Corduff — of the Rossport 5 — was beaten at night during a truck occupation. In June two local fisherman escaped with their lives after their boat was boarded and sunk in open sea by 4 armed masked men. (

The pipeline work is limited to the summer, if resistance can be sustained work can be halted again this year.

The solitaire is due back imminently … the time to act is now!

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