Policing tour a great success
BY JO GLENHOLMES - CAMPAIGNS OFFICER, TROOPS OUT MOVEMENT
Last week, the Troops Out Movement held a speaking tour on Policing in the north of Ireland to coincide with the final reading in parliament of the Policing Bill. Successful public meetings were held in Birmingham, Bristol, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Oxford and Sheffield. The speakers were Jim McCabe from Relatives for Justice, Frances McCauley from Springfield Residents Action Group (Belfast) and Martin Meehan from Sinn Féin.
In addition to public meetings, speakers met with local councillors, community groups and trade unionists.
Jim McCabe spoke of how his wife Nora was shot from an RUC Land Rover whilst returning from the corner shop. Even though the incident was caught on film by a Canadian film crew, no one has ever been charged with her murder. In fact, the senior police officer in charge of the vehicle was promoted and honoured by the Queen.
Frances McCauley spoke about how her community has been subjected to constant attack from loyalists condoned by the RUC because of their inaction against the attackers. She told audiences how her community is surrounded by brick walls and barbed wire. Many residents still feel it necessary to have grills over their windows and still have security doors in spite of the peace process. She spoke of the siege they suffer at the hands of the RUC every year to enable several Orange marches to come into the area. She called the British government hypocrites. ``They call for law and order then allow the RUC to break the law and ignore law-breakers.''
Martin Meehan spoke of Sinn Féin's ongoing commitment to the Peace Process and the Good Friday Agreement. He criticised the deceit of the British Government: ``They say republicans can't cherry pick the Good Friday Agreement, yet they have cherry picked Patten out of all recognition. They are still playing the Orange Card.''