Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ireland’s Largest Council Calls For Plastic Bullets To Be Banned

Dublin City Council last night [Monday] adopted an historic motion calling for the banning of the use of plastic bullets in the Six Counties. The motion, which was proposed by éirígí activist Councillor Louise Minihan, received the unanimous backing of Ireland’s largest council. Indeed such was the support for the motion that no debate or discussion was required prior to voting.

The motion stated that: “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.”

Councillor Louise Minihan holding plastic bullet

Having been adopted by Dublin City Council the motion will now be circulated to all county and city councils in the Twenty-Six Counties, providing each of these councils with the opportunity to follow the lead of Dublin City.

Prior to the council meeting more then forty éirígí activists and supporters gathered outside City Hall to protest against plastic bullets and lobby councillors to support the motion calling for their banning. Holding ‘Plastic Bullets Kill’ placards they mingled with those attending a protest in support of the striking Dublin dockers, who were also holding a protest to coincide with the monthly council meeting.

Plastic Bullets Kill

Speaking after the adoption of the motion éirígí Chairperson Brian Leeson said: “The adoption of this anti-plastic bullets motion marks a significant victory in the campaign to have these barbaric weapons banned. All of the councillors that supported this motion are to be commended for rising above petty party politics and seeing the outlawing of plastic bullets for the human rights issue that it is.

“In adopting this motion Dublin City Council is sending a very clear message to the occupying authorities and their henchmen in the PSNI – that the firing of plastic bullets at Irish citizens is not acceptable. The adoption of this motion also sends a message of solidarity to the people of the Ardoyne, the Short Strand and the rest of the Six Counties. On too many occasions in the past the elected institutions of the Twenty-Six Counties have been silent with regard to the activities of Britain’s forces in the Six Counties. Hopefully tonight’s motion marks a change in this pattern.

Outside City Hall

“The submission of this motion was just one of a number of initiatives taken by éirígí in response to the firing of plastic bullets by the PSNI in the Ardoyne area of Belfast on July 13th and again in the Short Strand area on August 31st. As welcome as the Dublin City motion is, we know that plastic bullets will not be banned as a result of council motions alone. It is only through the building of a mass campaign on the streets, in the elected institutions and within society at large that sufficient pressure will be brought to bear on the British government to outlaw these lethal weapons.”

Brian concluded: “I would encourage socialists, republicans and democrats across the Twenty-Six Counties to contact their local councillors and lobby them to support the anti-plastic bullet motion when it comes before their respective councils. They should also try to organise protests and other events to highlight the issue of plastic bullets and the unacceptable toll of human suffering that they cause. If other councils follow Dublin’s example it will add real political weight to the campaign to have plastic bullets permanently banned from Ireland.”

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