DIY demilitarisation continues
Residents in West Belfast's Whiterock and Springfield Road areas
decided to assist the British army and RUC in their departure
from the Henry Taggart Barracks on the Springfield Road last
Friday 29 August.
Local people heard that the barracks was being decommissioned to
make way for the new purpose built barracks only yards away.
During a post festival party residents decided to turn their
festivities into an ad-hoc farewell party to the infamous
military base. After the party, several hundred revellers marched
up to the barracks to hold a protest and see if the departing
military personnel wanted any help in packing up and going home.
However on arrival at the barracks, at around 2.30 am, protesters
were attacked with plastic bullets, fired by RUC officers
stationed in the base. Several people were hospitalised as at
least three were hit with plastic bullets. The playful protest
was quickly transformed into a confrontation due to the actions
of the RUC.
Speaking to An Phoblacht, local community worker Tommy Holland
said that while the closure of the base is being welcomed by
local people, the reason for its closure (the new base next door)
has caused much anger and frustration.