Irish Shell Protestors Honored in San Francisco at St. Pat's Day Parade
The San Francisco Sentinel
The Rossport Five, residents of County Mayo, served as honorary grand
marshals of this year's San Francisco St. Partick's Day parade. Assisted
by the Irish Northern Aid (INA), which raises funds to help support
families of imprisoned Irish political prisoners, two of the men were
invited to the Bay Area event.
Local INA parade contingent will recall the 90th anniversary of the
Easter Uprising, the 25th anniversary of the H-Block Hunger Strike, and
honor the Rossport Five, INA President Seamus Collins told the Sentinel.
"In honoring those brave men and women who gave their lives for future
generations, we chose to honor the Rossport Five who are present day
examples of courage," Colins explained.
"These give men and their communities are standing up to Shell Oil and
the Irish government and saying, 'The lives of our families and the well
being of our beautiful country is not up for sale to the highest bidder.'"
"This is an appropriate time to raise awareness regarding the continuing
struggle in Ireland for reunification and independence," Collins said.
Parade Grand Marshall Bob Baker joined hands with O'Seighin and McGrath
on the revue stand. A banner urged support for the men and targeted the
arrogant attitude of Shell. Denny Larson of the Global Community
Monitor, based in San Francisco, also joined the men on the revue stand.
GCM has worked with the Rossport residents since 2005 to
internationalize their struggle against Shell (see www.shellfacts.com).
"The St. Patrick's Day Parade is a day of joyful celebration and a
treasured expression of culture and heritage in our language, literature,
games, poetry, music, and dance," said Pilar Barton of Irish Northern Aid
after the event.
The Rossport Five were invited to send representatives to participate in
the San Francisco St Patrick's Day Parade by the event organisers, The
United Irish Societies of San Francisco; an organisatuon dedicated to
preserving and perpetuating "the democratic principles of the Irish
people, and of those for the freedom of Ireland and of the United States
Two of the men, Mr Micheal O'Seighin and Mr Vincent McGrath lead the
city's parade as honorary Grand Marshals on Sunday, March 12.
The fact that the men spent 94 days in Cloverhill prison last year for
breaching a temporary High Court injunction preventing them from
interfering with work by Shell E&P Ireland (SEPIL)on the controversial
onshore Corrib gas pipeline did not create difficulties for them when
they encounter US emigration authorities at San Francisco International
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