Over 60 éirígí activists and supporters attended the protest outside the British Embassy in Dublin, while 25 people joined the protest at the PSNI barracks in Enniskillen.
Banners and placards bearing the slogans ‘End 28-day detention’, ‘Plastic bullets kill’, ‘Britain out of Ireland’ and ‘PSNI - RUC No Change’ were well received in both locations with many motorists beeping their car horns in support.
At the Dublin protest éirígí’s Ursula Ní Shionnain read the names of all seventeen people killed by plastic bullets, before a minute’s silence was observed in their memory.
Speaking outside of the British Embassy, éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson said: “It is encouraging to see so many people here today. 28-day detention is simply internment by a different name. Its introduction marks a significant roll-back of basic civil liberties that were hard fought for over many years. The fact that a 17 year old was detained under this legislation earlier this year is a particularly worrying development.”
Brian continued, “It is no coincidence that in the last six months we have seen the introduction of 28 detentions, the re-deployment of British Army Special Forces and plastic bullets being used again. All of these measures are part of the wider British counter-insurgency strategy in Ireland. Protests like today’s are important in highlighting the fact that the nature of the occupation remains fundamentally unchanged, despite the veneer of normalisation that Britain is so keen to promote.”
Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey, who attended the Enniskillen demonstration, said that "those politicians and political parties that support the Good Friday Agreement and who have now given their full support to the PSNI claimed an era of supposedly “accountable” policing was at hand."
He added: "The repressive tactics of the PSNI in recent months however have left those claims lying in tatters. While they may have changed their name and uniform, the PSNI remain the same discredited, human rights abusing, British paramilitary police force, intent on stifling all political opposition to the British occupation."
He concluded: "Sinn Fein and the SDLP must now admit that they have failed to reform the PSNI as they claimed they would do. They must now withdraw their support for British policing in Ireland."