[Sinn Fein]

8 July 1997

RUC can have no role in future policing arrangements

Sinn Fein representative and Belfast City Councillor Michael Brown has criticised the use of plastic bullets following the decision to allow an Orange parade down the Garvaghy Road. Councillor Brown reiterated his party's view that their is no future role for RUC and that the only move which would satisfy nationalist people is the move towards total disbandment of this force.

Councillor Brown said:

``By their own admission the RUC and British Army had fired in excess of 1600 plastic bullets. It is not unreasonable to argue that since the decision was taken to force an Orange parade down the Garvaghy Road, against the expressed wishes of local residents, this figure must now top the 2000 mark.

``The continued use of these weapons begs the question as to how many more unarmed and innocent people have to be killed or seriously injured before the British government responds to the appeals of an array of internationally recognised human rights bodies and bans the use of plastic bullets?

``Plastic bullets do not discharge of their own accord. Those using them in the course of the last two days were in the main members of the RUC. That they were used with such reckless abandon serves to underline the attitude of this thoroughly discredited and sectarian force to nationalist people.

``All those injured by plastic bullets in the last two days were shot in their own areas by members of a force which is nether wanted nor needed. The RUC has again demonstrated that it has no role to play in future policing arrangements. The only move with regard to the RUC which will satisfy nationalist people is the total and immediate disbandment of this force''

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