Organise! | 06.10.2004 14:54 | Anti-militarism
Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Mancs, Brum, Notts,
Cardiff, Bristol, London and Soton all have hotels
ripe for a wee bit of DA/picket. Info at:
http://www.jurys-hotel.ie/fruk_index.htmCall for action against Juries in the UK.
PDF leaflet at:
Members and supporters of Organise! will be picketing Jury’s Inn Belfast on Friday 8th of October in protest at the hosting of the ‘Jane’s Less Lethal Weapons Conference 2004’ by the Jury’s group of hotels.
The picket will take place from 12.00 noon to 2.00 p.m. and is part of an accelerating series of actions targeting Jury’s Doyles’ hotels throughout Ireland, England and world-wide. Members of Organise!, grassroots activists and anarchists are taking part in a campaign to expose and close this ‘Less’ lethal torture fair.
The Jury’s Doyles’ group plan to host the so-called ‘Less Lethal Weapons Conference 2004’ in their Berkley Court hotel in Dublin over October 19th – 20th.
The 'Less Lethal Weapons' conference is effectively a trade fair for tools of torture and political repression, according to Organise!, which along with other activists across Ireland and further afield is vowing to stop the event from going ahead.
Sean Matthews of Organise! Belfast Local said: "If the Jury’s Doyle Hotel group doesn’t cancel this conference, we will call on the public to come out and force it to be shut down."
"The weapons being paraded and sold at Jury’s Berkley Hotel include electro-shock batons, stun guns, plastic bullets, Tasers, CR Gas, pepper spray and the new sonic-bombs that have been deployed to 'disperse' crowds in Iraq."
"Put simply, people who sell these tools of political repression and torture and people who want to buy them will be gathering at the Berkeley Court to do business," Sean Matthews said. "working class people will not tolerate that. These are weapons of political repression used the world over to brutally crush protest and dissent."
"The nature of the event is extremely provocative, coming at a time when revulsion at the war machine and the arms industry is running high across the world."
Northern Ireland's appalling track record in plastic bullet deaths is being celebrated by the inclusion of Colin Burrows, a former RUC superintendent, as conference host and main speaker.
The speakers include senior officers from the West Midlands Police, which framed the Birmingham Six and others, and from the LAPD, responsible for beating Rodney King. The CEO of Taser International Inc, a major supplier of weaponry to the occupation forces in Iraq, will also be speaking.
"The organisers of this weapons fair need to get a loud and clear message from people in Ireland, north and south: we are not going to sit back and allow these people to peddle weapons that will be used against us in the near future."
CONTACT SEAN MATTHEWS, BELFAST LOCAL of ORGANISE! at 07742894810
Notes to Editors
Protests against the Jury’s Doyles’ Hotel group have already taken place at the Westbury Court and Jury’ Parnell Square hotels in Dublin on 2nd October. See http://indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=66325 for more details.
Organise! is a class struggle anarchist organisation with members across Ireland. For more information visit http://www.organiseireland.org
The devices that are bought and sold by those due to attend the Berkeley Court conference are used as tools of torture in numerous repressive regimes around the world. They are also used in the west, against striking workers, street protesters and in close quarters against prisoners and political detainees.
In Ireland, 'less lethal weapons' have already resulted in numerous deaths. Plastic and rubber bullets have been responsible for the deaths of:
Francis Rowntree, aged 11, shot in the head by British Army from a distance of 5-7 yards on April 22 1972,
Tobias Molloy, aged 18, shot in the chest by British Army from a distance of 2-3 yards on July 16 1972,
Thomas Friel, aged 21 shot in the head by British Army from 25-30 yards on May 22 1973,
Stephen Geddis, aged 10, shot in the head by British Army from a distance of 40 yards on August 8 1975,
Brian Stewart, aged 13, shot in the head by British Army from a distance of 10 yards, on October 10 1976,
Michael Donnelly, aged 21, shot in the head by British Army from a distance of 15-20 yards, on August 9 1980,
Paul Whitters, aged 15, shot in the chest by RUC from a distance of 5-7 yards, on April 25 1981,
Julie Livingstone, aged 14, shot in the head by British Army from a distance of 7 yards, on May 13 1981,
Carole Anne Kelly, aged 12, shot in the head by British Army from a distance of less than 10 yards, on May 22 1981,
Henry Duffy, aged 45, shot in the head by British Army, on May 22 1981,
Nora McCabe, aged 32, shot in the head by the RUC from a distance of 2 yards, on July 9 1981,
Peter Doherty, aged 36, shot in the head by British Army through his living room window, on July 31 1981,
Peter McGuiness, aged 41, shot in the chest by British Army from a distance of 3 yards, on August 9 1981,
Stephen McConomy, aged 11, shot in the head by British Army from a distance of 5-6 yards, on April 19 1982,
Sean Downes, aged 22, shot in the chest by RUC from a distance of 2 yards, on August 12 1984,
Keith White, aged 20, shot in the head by RUC at point blank range, on April 14 1986,
Seamus Duffy, aged 15, shot in the chest by RUC from a distance of less than 10 yards, August 9 1989.
EXAMPLES OF 'LESS LETHAL WEAPONS':
These have been described as "the most universal modern tool of the torturers" by Helen Bamber, director of the British Medical Foundation for the Treatment of the Victims of Torture. Crude electronic devices, in wartime Europe, and electric cattle prods, in Latin America, were used as torture instruments long before the private sector took the idea up, commercialised it and mass produced electro-shock batons. They are extensively used and manufactured in China. British Aerospace sold 8,000 electro-shock batons to Saudi Arabia in the late 1980s as part of the multi-billion pound Al Yamamah arms deals.
Causes respiratory irritation, pain in the nose and chest, a burning sensation in the eyes and on moist skin and with more extensive exposure coughing and vomiting. It accentuates illness when inflicted on sufferers of bronchitis, asthma, liver or kidney diseases and epilepsy, and according to the findings of an official committee set up after the 1969 Derry riots it can cause deaths from heart failure. It has also been associated with second degree burns and respiratory illness.
Six times more potent than CS gas. High exposure produces temporary blindness. This was used in the townships in South Africa in the late 1980s, where it caused fatalities, particularly among children.
OC or PEPPER SPRAY:
The Los Angeles Times has reported at least 61 deaths associated with its use in the US in its first five years (1990-‘95). OC can cause temporary blindness, a burning sensation on skin, upper body spasms and coughing which inhibits breathing and speaking. It has been used as a torture instrument in US prisons. Pepper spray is widely used to suppress demonstrations, for instance in New York on February 15th, 2003, during the international day of protest against the Iraq war.
The M26 Advanced Taser is a handgun which fires two barbed darts up to seven meters, the darts are attached by wires to the gun, and along those wires a 50,000 volt electric shock travels to the victim. After firing the gun itself can function as an electro shock baton. They have recently been issued to British police. (Tom Smith Taser International Inc, will speak in Dublin on October 20th.)
These include rubber bullets, used in Northern Ireland until 1974/75, and their replacement, plastic bullets. In all 3 people were killed by rubber bullets and 14 by plastic bullets and thousands of people have been injured by them.
Other variations of the baton round include wooden bullets, used in the United States, rubber coated steel bullets used in Israel and the occupied territories, one version of which consists of, in each shot, 15 rubber balls each with a steel core which hit a target area 7 meters across. These are used to hit crowds indiscriminately.
A Belgian-manufactured weapon used in Switzerland fires metal and plastic containers of paint, which left one woman with fragments embedded in her face, which cannot be removed for fear of paralysis.
SCIENCE FICTION (weapons still in development):
-- Human capture nets, which can be electrified or laced with chemical irritant.
-- Foam guns, which stick the target to the ground.
-- Foam barriers, which can be laced with chemical irritant.
-- Sleeping-inducing chemicals.
-- Strobes, which pulse in the critical epileptic fit-inducing frequency.
-- Radio frequency weapons, which use microwaves to raise the victim’s temperature.
-- UV lasers, which enable an electric charge to be sent across some distance through the air.