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(en) Ireland: Dublin Grassroots Less Lethal Weapons Action protest 19 Oct Berkeley Court Hotel Tuesday

From "Andrew" <andrew@flag.blackened.net>
Date Fri, 15 Oct 2004 16:26:19 +0200 (CEST)

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We are calling for people for people to assemble at 4.45 pm on Tuesday 19th of
October at the junction of Lansdowne road and Shelbourne road (just up from
Lansdowne road Dart Station).
The Jane's Less Lethal Weapons Conference takes place in The Berekley Court
Hotel Ballsbridge on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th of October.
So called less lethal weapons include electro-shock batons, plastic bullets,
Tasers, CR Gas and pepper spray. The manufacturers of these weapons claim that
they cut down on officer and crowd injuries during confrontational situations.

The reality of what a Taser does is quite horrific. The Taser is designed
sending out 50,000 volts of electricity that disrupt not only the victim's
central nervous system, but also the sensory nervous system and the motor
nervous system, for up to 5 seconds at a time, disabling muscle control and
temporarily incapacitating the person.

Tasers have been responsible for numerous documented deaths in America. In
Washington State activists recently marked the one-year anniversary of the
death of Stephen Edwards, a 59-year-old who died of a heart attack on November
7, 2002 after being "stunned" four times by a Taser.

In Florida, Pembroke Pines police shot Kerry O'Brien with a Taser after he
pounded on cars; O'Brien died at the hospital. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel
reports that "Several other people in Florida have died in the past two years
after being hit with Tasers."

In Baytown, Texas a grand jury cleared an officer of criminal wrongdoing in
October for using a Taser on a person suffering from epilepsy who was in an
ambulance. In September, a grand jury did indict another Baytown officer for
Tasering a 59-year-old disabled woman two times (Houston Chronicle, October

The New York Times, in its March 7 article, raised questions about the growing
number of deaths in Taser-related incidents (the February 11 Willamette Week
puts that number at 37). The Times specifically cites the death of William
Lomax, 26, in Las Vegas in February, where witnesses and the police say Lomax
collapsed after police Tasered him four or five times.

(Reports on Taser use from Portland Copwatch's website www.portlandcopwatch.org

Then there are Shockrounds - according to their own web page company they act:
"In a manner similar to stun guns and "Taser" technology, a ShockRounds(TM)
bullet discharges anelectrical shock upon impact and temporarily disrupts the
nervous system incapacitating the target immediately....ShockRounds(TM)
"electrified" standardbullets and rubber bullets will....decrease legal
liability and revolutionize the munitions industry"and " ..enable far better
control and effectiveenablement in aircraft, public places, arenas etc",
providing "an effective border control weapon."

Here in Ireland, 'less lethal weapons' have already resulted in numerous
deaths. Plastic bullets alone were responsible for at least 14 deaths in
Northern Ireland in the past 30 years. All of these people would probably still
be alive were it not for "less lethal weapons", as it's unlikely the
authorities would have used live rounds against them. Perhaps the organisers
are trying to rub salt in the wounds by having ex-RUC superintendent Colin
Burrows (now working for critical intervention services) as first speaker and
host of the weapons conference

What this conference is about is two things. Firstly making massive amounts of
money for companies like Taser, Shockround and Critical Intervention Services.
Secondly it is about the gradual attempt to militarise the handling of
legitimate public protest and to portray and treat political activists as

At the recent Republican National conference in New York over 1700 protestors
were arrested. Despite wide spread media reporting of entirely peaceful
behaviour by the demonstrators police employed Tasers and electro-shock batons
as well as battering men, women and children with good old fashioned long arm
batons into the bargain. Is this the way we want dissent and protest handled in

"Less lethal weapons" bridge the gap between the conventional methods of hand
and baton, which are slow and unreliable, and live ammunition, which is too
costly in terms of damage to the legitimacy of the state. By design they are
also highly suitable as instruments of torture and have been employed in this
fashion by numerous repressive regimes around the world (for more on this see
the "Pain Merchants" report produced by Amnesty
International (http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGACT400082003)

We call on Juries group to cancel this conference forth with. 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. It's
business we don't want. Join us to shut down this torture fair!

Dublin Grassroots Less Lethal Weapons Action
Berkeley Court Hotel
Visual: All participants must get hold of a Halloween Mask AND some class
of super squirter, cap gun, toy gun, stun gun, fun gun, replica fire arm,
phazer (stun settings only), space ray, heat beam, Molecular displacer,
continium transfunctionor, tata box inhibitor, paper air plane or such
Strictly NON LETHAL please!
Participants are encouraged to dress to excess and bring your own banners,
placards etc

Sound: drums, bongos, bodhrains, kettle drums, empty water coolers,
hooters, horns, whistles, kazoos, mouth organs, spoons, nose flutes, pots
and pans, uilleann pipes, tin whistles, ghetto blasters, sound systems,
spare keys or what ever you have that rattles or hums.

Please forward by text or E Mail.

Mick Dooley + Rosie Dwyer

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