PLATFORM Unravelling the CarbonWeb
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Unravelling the Carbon Web is a project by PLATFORM. We work to reduce the environmental and social impacts of oil corporations, to help citizens gain a say in decisions that affect them, and to support the transition to a more sustainable energy economy.

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Shell to Sea

Resisting Shell at Sea

The battle between Shell and community activists in Rossport, Ireland, intensified in September. Shell is attempting to develop a gas field off the coast of Co Mayo, build a high pressure gas pipe near villagers’ homes and construct a refinery on unstable bog. The world's largest pipe-laying vessel, the Solitaire, arrived in September to install the offshore section of the pipeline. The opposition Shell to Sea campaign fears that if this part of the pipe is built, it will make onshore plans inevitable.

Attempts by local fisherfolk, residents and activists to disrupt Shell’s activities with a protest flotilla of kayaks, inflatable dinghies and rafts has been met by heavy-handed force from Irish Police boats, Shell support craft and at least two Irish Navy warships. Dinghies have been repeatedly rammed and protesters dumped into the water, while Shell vessels have continued operations in spite of danger to bystanders.

Despite this, the Solitaire was prevented from laying pipes. Protesters continued to attempt a marine blockade, and a small group boarded the ship to warn its captain that a local school teacher had gone on hunger strike at Shell’s gates until the Solitaire leaves Irish waters. Local activists believe that if the Solitaire can be stopped until early October, rough seas will end work for the year.

STOP PRESS - reports indicate the Solitaire appears to have left Ireland.