Rossport Solidarity: Rolling Shell Blockade
On 24th January London Rising Tide once again helped their friends at Rhythms of Resistance Samba band and others keep Shell aware that the campaign to prevent the damaging high pressure gas pipeline and refinery near Rossport in County Mayo, Ireland is still rolling.
…and rolling is what it was, with even a bit of rocking. We tried the new tactic with measured success of short spells at a series of North London Shell garages blockading the entrance and exits with band, banners and bandanas (there was also mention of bananas when it came to irate drivers).
Holloway Road was the first stop where having set up and told the gas guzzlers on the forecourt that we were not blocking them in, one of them decided to drive at us from behind. Having stepped back just in time, banging the window as it surged past, the driver got out of her 4 x 4 (funny that, it always seems to be) and violently threatened to do unspeakable things to us as individuals from about 2 inches away. More fossil fuelled driver lunacy followed and we decided to get rolling to the next garage when pushing came to pull us away as plod were summoned.
On arriving at the familiar territory of the Shell Upper Street garage we kitted up and lasted a bit longer, even turning away petrol thirsty black cab drivers, before more violence threatening behaviour from people blockaded out. The thin line of Samba resisted and held out as we turned away the ubiquitous Islington SUVs. The usual support from the Fire Brigade was good for keeping up our spirits.
After that it was back to Holloway Rd with less abuse but more plod and we retired to the pub when they called for back-up since the final whistle of the Spurs v Arsenal game was about to be blown along with plod’s patience.
On reflection over out stout we agreed it was desperately sad that such anger of particularly 4 x 4 drivers only had the unhealthy outlet of threatening us. Especially when Shell’s statuspheric disregard of the planet’s atmosphere and the atmosphere of living in Mayo, Ogoniland or Sakhalin seemed a better place to vent their frustration.