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Direct action Skillshare in Mayo, 14th-15th April

Direct action skillshare in Co. Mayo – all welcome, no experience necessary.

Explore how direct action can be used in your own community or campaign

You are warmly invited to visit Rossport Solidarity Camp for a direct action skillshare on Saturday the 14th of April 2012. It’s open to complete beginners to try out different ways of protesting, learning your legal rights and planning safe direct actions as part of campaigning. The skillshare is also a chance to stay for the weekend, see the area and learn about how direct action has been used as part of a campaign challenging the Corrib gas project for over a decade.

The purpose of the skillshare is to create space to:

- learn about direct action and share practical skills for campaigners
- hear from local people about how direct action has been used in Co. Mayo
– explore how direct action can be used in your own communities or campaigns

What is the Rossport Solidarity Camp?
Since 2005 the Rossport Solidarity Camp has been a collective of people living in Kilcommon, Co. Mayo who are committed to supporting the campaign against the proposed Corrib gas project. Together we aim to:
- to support the community in its struggle against Shell’s Corrib gas project
- to provide a base for people to visit, learn and support the struggle through a number of ways including non-violent direct action
- to work as part of the national Shell to Sea campaign
- to link with other communities under threat from the fossil fuel industry and international campaigns against Shell & other oil companies
- to try and become a model of sustainability

Workshop programme (may change slightly, please contact us if you need details or have any specific requirements to enable you to participate, access etc):

Friday 13th April
7pm Dinner
8pm-8.30pm Welcome session, including a short intro to the camp and campaign in Mayo
8.30- 9pm What is Direct Action? How has it been used in Ireland?

9.00 – 9.30       Breakfast
9.30 – 10.30    What is Direct Action? How has been used in Ireland?
10.30 -11.00    Exploring values and fears about direct action
11.00 – 11.30   Tea break
11.30 – 13.00   Planning a direct action (in small groups, preparing for mock/practice actions Sunday morning)

13.00 – 14.00   Lunch
14.00 – 16.00   Direct action skills (Four activities/30 mins each: practice with lock-ons, tripods, navigation and blockading)
16.00-16.15     Tea break/walk
16.15 -18.00     Local campaigners talk about direct action in Co. Mayo
18.00 – 20.00    Legal workshop for campaigners (Four activities/30 mins each: laws commonly used in protest situations, role playing what happens if you are arrested, role playing dealing with gardaí in public spaces, protecting yourself against unjust convictions etc)
20.00               Dinner
21.00 – 22.00   Introduction to night time actions
22.00               Music/pub

9.00 – 10.00   Breakfast
10.00 -12.00  Mock actions (practice carrying out an action)
13.00             Lunch
13.30 -15.00  Debrief from mock actions. Discussion: How can we use direct action in the future? Facilitated space for people to discuss different ways they may use direct action in their own communities or campaigns in the future.
15.00-16.00 (Pack up and lifts to people getting bus from Bangor Erris at 4pm)
[4pm onwards - people are welcome to stay on longer, see the area by bike, and join us for a film in the evening]

What to bring:
Wellies, warm and waterproof clothing, sleeping bag and mat if you can (normally we have spares) and a torch. A camera can be very useful. This is a free event. Accommodation and food provided, donations welcome. Suggested donation of 5 euro per day to cover your meals. For more info see

How to get here:
Please try to arrive on Friday 13th by around 7pm. For detailed directions and public transport info see If travelling by public transport, aim to arrive in Ballina by train or bus before 5pm, then catch McGrath’s bus. McGrath’s bus service from Ballina (or Castlebar) can drop you at the camp at 6-6.30pm in time for the start of the weekend. To get away on Sunday, a Buseireann bus departs 4pm from Bangor Erris. This bus runs to Dublin via Ballina, Longford where you can change for other destinations.

Can’t make it on the 14th?
We hold workshop weekends at the camp a couple of times per year. If you can’t come on the 14th but would like to attend at another time, please contact us to arrange a visit when you are free to come. Visitors are welcome to the camp at anytime.

Some thoughts on direct action…

“If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters…. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” – Frederick Douglass,1857

Direct action has been an important tactic used in movements for social change throughout Ireland’s history. In our recent history direct action was used during the anti-war campaign at Shannon airport, in the civil rights marches, during the anti-nuclear campaign at Cansore Point and also to kick out dirty industries such as Raytheon, Merrell Dow and Raybestos Manhattan. In Co. Mayo direct action continues to be used in parallel with other campaigning tools such as engaging in the planning and complaints processes, lobbying, public meetings and taking legal challenges against Shell.

The Shell to Sea campaign has used direct action in different ways as part of an 11 year effort to frustrate, delay and try to stop Shell’s Corrib Gas project. We take direct action because the government has failed to investigate the corruption at the heart of the Corrib project and the authorities that are supposed to protect communities and the environment have refused to regulate Shell’s activities. Whether by stopping Shell illegally drilling in a Special Area of Conservation or blocking the trucks carrying building materials for this experimental and dangerous project, using direct action has seriously challenged Shell’s and State’s attempts to steamroll through a community and place unquestionned. Shell’s Corrib gas project is already almost a decade late and 3 times over budget – impressive for a rural community up against the state and one of the biggest multinationals in the world.

For further information don’t hesitate to contact us at rossportsolidaritycamp[at]gmail[dot]com or by calling 0851141170. Feel free to help us promote the weekend and use the poster above (file downloadable at the bottom of this page) or put them up in your town. Thanks!

da_skillshare_14April.jpg114.72 KB
da skillshare poster 14th april.pdf1.84 MB
14 April 2012 (All day) - 15 April 2012 (All day)