Irish Say No to Rubber Bullets

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PHILA. Irish American leader Bob Gessler

Let me state the following upfront: I believe that everyone in the United States has the right to protest but that no one has the right to commit crimes and that the idiots who do so hurt the causes of those fighting for justice.

Recently, some in the Irish community have called for the use of rubber/plastic bullets as a form of crowd control. I cannot strongly enough state my opposition to their use anywhere, let along on our fellow citizens.

I was one of thousands of Irish and Irish Americans that marched with the leaders of our community decrying their use. The devastation these “bullets have done to Irish Catholic families throughout Northern Ireland cannot be forgotten – fathers. mothers, daughters and sons killed, maimed and wounded.

We as a people cannot forget and can never condone their use.

I direct everyone to a 1997 congressional hearing entitled “Human Rights in Northern Ireland” wherein the joint resolution calling for the ban of these “bullets” was called for. This resolution was submitted by the AOH, Irish Northern Aid, Brehon Law Society, Irish American Unity Conference and the Knights of Equity.

We cannot forget our history as a persecuted people, nor sacrifice the very human rights we have sought for and still seek for our sisters and brothers in Northern Ireland.

Bob Gessler is president, Irish Memorial Ancient Order of Hibernians, JFK Medal awardee; Delaware Valley Irish Hall of Fame, member; past president, Philadelphia County Board & Division 87, Port Richmond; past president, St. Patrick’s Day Parade Association; member, Friendly Sons of St. Patrick

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