Irish Hunger Striker Faces Down Shell Pipeline


Protester Risks Life to Stop Pipeline
TreeHugger has asked before how far people should go when protesting - from tree sitters to naked bike riders, folks are often willing to go to extremes to make sure their views are heard. But few would go as far as Maura Harrington of Rossport in County Mayo, who is entering the second week of her hunger strike protest against a gas pipeline planned for her community. Oil giant Shell was already facing fishing boats blocking construction of the pipeline, a protest camp near the village, and now Harrington is saying she will drink nothing but water until Shell's ship, the Solitaire, leaves the bay. The Guardian gives a little more insight into what has driven Harrington to such desperate measures:
"Harrington, a former headmistress, has been opposed to the onshore pipeline from the start, and believes Shell should build an offshore refinery. She gave notice to the commander of Shell's Solitaire boat that if it came into the bay she would begin her strike and carry on till the ship went away.

How is she feeling? "Alright, it's early days still." She's eating nothing, and only drinking water, and given her smallness — she only weights 42kg (6st 9lb) already — she can't have many reserves. The hunger strike is something she's been contemplating for months now, but the decision was finally made when she heard that the Solitaire was on its way. It sprang out of her despair, she says, over the actions not just of Shell but of the local authorities, the Garda, and the government."

Harrington maintains that Shell has always had the option of building an offshore refinery, and the decision to build a pipeline was simply a cost-cutting measure.

::Rossport Solidarity Camp::via The Guardian::

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Tags: Activism | Energy | Ireland

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