Sinn Féin Poblachtach view with alarm the shooting of young members of the Derry community last night, the readiness of the RUC/PSNI to use these deadly weapons should worry us all. The fact that one victim was hit high on the chest shows that at least one shot was fired high in direct contravention of their own rules.
Since the introduction of plastic bullets 17 people have been murdered using this deadly weapon, eight of those killed where young children or teenagers. The first person to die after being struck by a rubber bullet was Francis Rowntree (11) in Belfast in April 1972.
Human rights groups have called on a regular basis for a ban on the bullets, the RUC have consistently argued they are necessary in difficult public disorder situations. Indeed many of these incidents only occur because of provocation and the invasion of nationalist areas by the RUC and British Army.
This morning we saw British soldiers on the streets of Derry in a search operation, the fact they were dressed in police uniforms fooled no one, the distinctive vehicles belying their true identity. We are now hearing of a column of armoured of Landrovers heading in the Derry direction. It is clear that when it comes to the nationalist community all and every method will be used by the stateShare