31 May 2001 Edition

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Spelling out NO to plastic bullets in Derry

The Derry-based Pat Finucane Centre is calling for public support this Thursday in its campaign for a complete ban on plastic bullets. A new, more lethal, version of the plastic bullet will be deployed on Friday and the Derry-based group has urged all those who support the demand for a complete ban to literally spell out the letters NO on Guildhall Square at 1pm this Thursday, 1 June.

Spokesperson for the group, Paul O√ĘConnor, said: ``We are hoping to send out the strongest possible message that plastic bullets are unacceptable against any section of our community. They must be banned before a new beginning to policing can even begin to be discussed by our political representatives. On Thursday we are asking the public to join us in forming a giant human NO on Guildhall Square. The O will be in the form of a target to emphasise that we are all potential targets of these lethal weapons. The size of the letters to be spelled out, the message that we send, clearly depends on the level of support that we receive. Thursday also marks the final date for signatures to the Manifesto against Plastic Bullets, a joint initiative of the Campaign against Plastic Bullets, Relatives for Justice and the PFC. Thousands of signatures have been gathered throughout the North in the past two weeks.

A number of relatives of those killed and injured by plastic bullets have urged the Derry public to support Thursday's protest. Des and Helen Whitters, whose 15-year-old son Paul was killed by a plastic bullet on Great James Street in 1981, said in a statement: ``No other family should have to go through the pain and loss that we suffered. It simply beggars belief that a new, more lethal, plastic bullet is set to be introduced this week. We appeal to the public to support Thursday's protest.''

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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