Concern at use of vehicle-ramming ‘hard stops’

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Derry continues to endure the brunt of attacks on political activists by members of the British forces, including a rise in the tactic of motorists being rammed by Crown Force vehicles.

On Thursday of last week, a Derry republican was travelling as a passenger alongside his mother when their vehicle was suddenly rammed by armed and masked men, carrying heavy duty rifles, glock handguns, tasers and using attack dogs.

Rifle-wielding Crown Force personnel emerged from blacked-out jeeps, dressed all in black with their faces covered, and surrounded the vehicle.

They shouted for both mother and son to get out. Most were said to have had an English accent.

The elderly woman suffered a panic attack as she watched her son being dragged from her and bound in cable ties. The woman was then held at the side of the road for almost an hour before a female member of the Crown Forces arrived to search her.

Once the searches were complete, the Saoradh member was untied, but not before the republican’s mother was subjected to a bogus breathalyser test.

The ongoing tactics being directed towards republicans in the Six Counties, particularly in the Derry area, have resulted in several so-called ‘hard stops’, whereby vehicles have been rammed and political activists have been cable-tied and held for hours.

“These tactics have failed in the past, and will continue to fail today,” Saoradh said, despite the “deafening silence” of both religious and political leaders in the North.

“The Republican ideology, the belief and the desire to break free from the shackles of occupation knows no bounds.”

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