12 July 2004.
Contact: Andy Martin Director of Publicity.
Phone 07742 439 449 or e-mail belfast32csm@yahoo.com


Events in Derry city centre yesterday morning have further highlighted the unacceptable nature of the RUC/PSNI in nationalist and republican areas of the six counties.

At around 1:30 am yesterday morning (Sunday11th) two police land rovers tailed one young man aged 23 and his partner through Derry City centre. When the young man was out of sight of the many CCTV cameras in the city he was pounced on by the police and physically man handled. The man was then handcuffed by the police when he resisted their attempts to beat him and he was arrested for disorderly behavior. During this assault by the RUC/PSNI a number of passers by witnessed the events and challenged the police, the police reacted by covering the area with CS gas. The man the police arrested was saturated with the gas and as a result was very badly burned. A number of other people were then arrested by the RUC/PSNI when they tried to defend themselves against Police aggression. Some of those arrested have commented on the fact that many of the RUC officers appeared to be suffering the after affects of the use of this CS gas. More worryingly, a number of those affected by the gas
noticed that for a period of up to 24 hours after the attack anyone they came into contact with also began to suffer the symptoms, including the initial victim’s infant child.

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement challenge the RUC/PSNI to reveal exactly what type of CS gas was used in Derry on Sunday morning and explain the extreme symptoms suffered by the public. We also question the necessity for arresting these people in the first place, the RUC/PSNI seem intent on provoking the nationalist community at every opportunity. It has not been lost on the people of Derry that over three and a half decades after the Battle of the Bogside their streets are still being choked by CS gas from RUC guns. Little has changed from the days of the B-Specials except the name.

Finally we ask the SDLP’s Pat Ramsey to justify his comments in today’s Irish News in which he condemns the violence directed at the RUC without condemning RUC violence directed at the community. Mr. Ramsey also defends the use of CS gas against his own constituents, something for which he will no doubt pay for when next he stands for election. In his rush to justify the RUC’s actions Mr. Ramsey has accepted the statements from the RUC press office as fact and not once has he asked anyone involved in the incident what really happened. It is interesting that at a time when Ramsey’s party colleagues, Danny O Connor and Martin Morgan are questioning whether or not the police have actually changed he should accept their version of events without question.

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement again reiterate to Republicans across the six counties, what the people of Derry already know, that the RUC are Sectarian, Partisan, anti-republican, anti-equality and anti-human rights and have changed little since their inception. Their main reason for existing is to uphold Britain’s illegal Sovereign claim to the North of Ireland.

Reject the RUC/PSNI, the Policing Board and the District Policing Partnerships.

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