The plight of a marginalised people fighting to protect their environment from predatory oil companies, who have the full military backing of governments who put tax returns ahead of the individual rights of their citizens and the future of a borrowed landscape, resonates in the hearts of the Irish people, and all those involved in protesting against the Corrib Gasline and those who participated in the Shell to Sea campaign.
The following sound bites capture some of the story and feeling behind the pipeline and the comments at the end are a reminder of the struggle of a small rural community in the County of Mayo.
'At issue for the tribes is the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline, or DAPL, which runs through North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois and has a capacity to transport more than 500,000 barrels of oil a day. The $3.8 billion pipeline now under construction was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to cross under the Missouri River a mile north of the reservation. That river is the source of water for the reservation’s 8,000 residents. Any leak, tribal leaders argue, would cause immediate and irreparable harm' @JoeHeim
'The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are up against illegal aggressors trespassing on their land, land which they not only have a right to protect, but have the right to defend with arms according to U.S. law.' @caitoz
'The conflict inflames a long, brutal and disgraceful history of Native American dispossession and the elevation of private and corporate rights over indigenous ones, and overlaps with urgent efforts to curb fossil fuel dependency.' @LCarasik
'At a time when white-supremacist notions are re-emerging and a major-party presidential candidate is encouraging America to hate again, this battle of government and corporate power against Native American rights is an important reminder of the real power dynamics in the U.S. and of who has been denied rights since the founding of the country.' @SonaliKolhatkar
'The question I need to ask the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) is whether he is aware of the meetings of the Shell committee of managing directors in London prior to the commencement of the Shell project when it discussed whether the company had sufficiently well-placed contacts in the Irish Government and among the Irish regulators, an instance which it said it would investigate further and which set the scene for everything else that followed? Is the Taoiseach aware of the continued police harassment and intimidation of the local community?' @ClareDalyTD
'Right from the beginning, they say it was about health and safety. Not gas, not the right of a gas company to bring it ashore, not the right of the Government to permit that to happen — it was about health and safety in a small, rural, aging community, a knot of people in a sprawling, beautiful but mostly empty part of the western seaboard, conscious of their rights as citizens. It was their land, their livelihoods, their community they felt were under threat.' @noelbaker1
Picture by Kim Ryu