éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson has announced the details of an emergency motion that was today [Tuesday] submitted to Dublin City Council by éirígí activist, councillor Louise Minihan.
The motion, which will come before a full meeting of Dublin City Council on Monday, September 7, was drafted in response to the firing of plastic bullets by the PSNI in the Short Strand area of east Belfast last night [Monday] and in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast on July 13.
The motion reads as follows:
“This council notes with deep concern the firing of plastic bullets by the PSNI in Belfast on July 13 and August 31 2009. These lethal weapons have already killed seventeen Irish citizens and injured and maimed countless others. This council calls for the immediate banning of the use of plastic bullets under any circumstances in the Six Counties before they cause further injury or death.”
Leeson said: “Given the events in the Short Strand last night and Ardoyne in July, the issue of plastic bullet use by British forces in Ireland is once again centre stage. The submission of this motion, which is éirígí’s first to any council in Ireland, will help to highlight what is quite literally a life and death issue for those who live in the occupied Six Counties.
“The firing of plastic bullets by the PSNI during a peaceful protest in Ardoyne and again last night is a worrying development. A number of people, including several children, have been injured as a result of these two incidents.
“Nobody, not least the families and communities that have borne the brunt of plastic bullet violence, needs to be reminded of the deadly nature of these weapons. Since their introduction in the early 1970s, 17 civilians have been killed by plastic bullets, fired by various British forces. Many more have suffered horrific injuries, including blinding, as a result of being struck by plastic bullets.
“This motion has been drafted in such a way as to allow political parties who don’t share éirígí’s wider analysis to support the motion on a human rights basis. The issue is just too important for petty political point-scoring. We would encourage every councillor who is concerned with human rights to support this motion.”
Leeson continued: “The firing of plastic bullets by the PSNI is part of the broader role that force plays in protecting the British occupation. Over the course of the last year, the PSNI has also used 28-day detention legislation against republicans, worked hand-in-glove with the British army’s Special Reconnaissance Regiment and collaborated on a daily basis with MI5. These actions, along with the fact that the force remains routinely armed with assault rifles, Tasers and CS gas, expose the paramilitary and inherently political nature of the PSNI.”
Leeson concluded: “While intending to build political pressure against plastic bullet use through this motion, éirígí is under no illusions about the limitations of such measures. The campaign against plastic bullets will have to be built on the streets and within communities as well.
éirígí is committed to playing our part in the campaign to get plastic bullets banned, as well as submitting this motion to Dublin City Council, the party has also held demonstrations on the issue outside the British embassy and Enniskillen PSNI barracks within the last month.”
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