A rural community in the west of Ireland is fighting a group of companies led by Shell who are trying to build a life-threatening gas pipeline & polluting refinery in their area. There was about 850-1000 people at the demonstration. They were mainly from the Left, the Parties, trade unions, NGOs and a big contingent from the grassroots Mayo community directly affected by the pipeline. We leafleted about the 8th March Dublin Strike event. The Socialist Workers Party was in charge of the speaking platforms. We asked for the Strike to speak and they agreed to let us. They asked if the Strike had been to Mayo which we had.
The Strike spoke about Venezuela and women’s case against these projects (Nigerian women and work done by Mayo women against Shell). People applauded when women’s work was spoken about. One woman from the Mayo community was nodding and saying thank you during the Strike speech.
While we were leafleting some people from the Left were hostile towards Venezuela and one guy shouted something while the Strike was speaking. People didn’t take much notice of him though.
People took photos and videos of the Strike banner and several women came up to us afterwards. One woman from Dublin Community Television held the banner for a while and said to email them so that the Strike might be able to be part of their programmes. Two other women also held the banner and leafleted. Two personal friends came and walked with the banner.
Apart from the Strike, the rest of the speeches were by one man from the community, a Nigerian man (asylum seeker), people from the anti-Shell support campaign, Labour Party, Sinn Fein, SWP, Socialist Party, two trade unions including ITGWU and nurses union.
After the demo we spoke with a woman from the anti-Shell support group and a woman from the Mayo community, who will show Journey with the Revolution in the community in Mayo. Women there want to know more about how they can work with the Strike to bring out their case as women against the pipeline. They may do something as women on the 8th March.
We met a lot of people the Strike knew from previous demonstrations including women from Derry who had joined the Strike in 2003 and came to find us. They have organised since for a local women’s group from Derry’s Bogside to show Journey with the Revolution there.
It was a very good day overall!
written by J.Ronayne & M.Ronayne