How A Liar And A War Criminal Became Britain’s No 1 Soldier

Eamonn McCann’s incisive collating of the various pieces of evidence on the Bloody Sunday “Shot List” and one General Sir Mike Jackson.  While this evidence was presented to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry under Lord Saville the inquiry found no evidence of coverup.  Unfortunately the first few minutes of this brilliant talk were not captured.

Bloody Sunday March Committee are publishing this on the day we launch the theme and poster for 47th Anniversary March that will take place on the 27th January 2019.  Entitled “Jail Jackson” stay tuned for more details in the coming days and weeks. This talk delivered in the Gasyard Centre on the 18th of April 2007.

“Jail Jackson” Bloody Sunday Poster Launch

Eamonn McCann speaking at the launch of the poster for next year’s Bloody Sunday March for Justice Programme of events.

Next month’s annual Bloody Sunday march will focus on the role and responsibility of the top British officers and politicians who organised and ordered the January 1972 massacre in the Bogside and then concocted a lying cover story to hide the truth from the world.

The march will call for responsibility for the killings to be laid at the door not only of those who pulled the triggers but of those who ordered that the triggers be pulled.

These include Brigadier Frank Kitson, Belfast commander at the time, author of the standard British Army “anti-terrorist manual, “Low Intensity Operations,” who sent the Paras to Derry to “police” the civil rights march; Major General Robert Ford, Commander of Land Forces Northern Ireland, who stood at the bottom of William Street shouting “Go on the Paras!“ as the killers poured through a barbed-wire barricade into the Bogside; General Sir Michael Jackson, second in command of the soldiers on the ground on the day: Jackson personally drafted and wrote out in his own hand the cover story which was to become the standard British version of the killings; and Edward Heath, prime minister.

We call for Jackson in particular to be charged with conspiracy to murder. The rank and file paras who fired the fatal shots should be brought to book. But this shouldn’t be at the expense of letting higher-ups with heavier responsibility go scot-free.

The British Government, the Department of Defence and the military establishment want all the blame laid on the shoulders of privates and corporals so that they can say that the Bloody Sunday massacre was a “rogue “operation by disobedient lower ranks which left no stain on the reputation of the British Army itself.

This was the thrust of David Cameron’s speech in the Commons following publication of the Bloody Sunday report in June 2010.

The truth is that men uniformed to represent the British state carried out the killings because they believed, and had good reason to believe, that murder was what was expected of them.

We should keep in mind that Jackson was in Ballymurphy playing an operational role the previous August when ten decent unarmed people where cut down by the same soldiers, some of the bodies then flung into armoured cars like livestock at an abattoir. We will be marching for the Ballymurphy families, too.

We will also remember as we march the actions of the Parachute Regiment in ripping Yemen apart just before their deployment to the North. The appalling aftermath of that savagery can still be seen on the news every night.

We ask all those, of whatever political background, who want to stand up against State murder to join with us on January 27th next behind our “Jail Jackson!” banner, demanding the full truth about what happened in Derry and about who was ultimately responsible.

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.

Due Process, Policing & Accountability

 

Photograph of Panel from Dublin event.

L to R: Antoinette Keegan, Stardust Families’ Campaign, Kate Nash, Bloody Sunday March Committee, Stephen Travers, Miami Show Band Survivor & Eamonn McCann, Bloody Sunday March Committee (Outside Dublin’s, Garden of Remembrance – Wednesday, Sept. 19th)

Photograph of the Panel from Dublin event.

L to R: Antoinette Keegan, Stardust Families’ Campaign, Sinn Fein MEP, Lynn Boylan, Kate Nash, Bloody Sunday March Committee & Stephen Travers, Miami Show Band Survivor (Teachers Club Dublin, Wednesday, Sept. 19th)

 

Below is the text of press release before the event.



Poster for event

Wednesday 19th September 7:30pm

Speakers Include:

  • Kate Nash
    Bloody Sunday March Committee
  • Stephen Travers
    Miami Showband Massacre
  • Darragh Mackin
    Phoenix Law
  • Eamonn McCann
    Bloody Sunday March Committee

Admission Free

Teachers Club, 36 Parnell Square West, Dublin

Representatives of the Bloody Sunday families and Miami Showband survivor Stephen Travers will be among speakers at a meeting in Dublin next Wednesday (19th) on the cover-up of killings involving police and British soldiers during the Troubles.

The meeting has been organised by the Bloody Sunday March Committee. A spokesperson for the group says that, “We want to highlight the fact that Ballymurphy, Bloody Sunday, the Miami massacre etc. should be major issues in Southern politics as well as in the North. But instead of helping the families’ campaigns, the Dublin government has turned its back on them and added insult to injury with the recent appointment of former PSNI deputy chief constable Drew Harris as Garda Commissioner.

“Drew Harris was PSNI link-man with MI5. He helped suppress a report by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) into the Glenanne gang, a terrorist group with members drawn from Loyalist paramilitaries, the RUC and the Ulster Defence Regiment. The Glenanne gang was responsible for upwards of 150 murders, including those of the Miami Showband in July 1975 and of the 34 people who died in the Dublin-Monaghan bombings in May 1974.

“We urge concerned Dublin people to come along to the Teachers’ Club in Parnell Square at 7.30 next Wednesday and join in discussion of how to respond to the Harris appointment and of how to continue the march towards the truth of State collusion in Troubles killings, North and South.”

Speakers at Wednesday’s meeting will include: Kate Nash, whose brother William was murdered and father Alex wounded on Bloody Sunday; Stephen Travers, survivor of the Miami massacre; Darragh Mackin, lawyer for families of many of the victims (as well as for the families of the Stardust massacre); and journalist and socialist activist Eamonn McCann, who has been campaigning alongside the Bloody Sunday families for four decades.

The meeting will be introduced and chaired by Antoinette Keegan of the Stardust Families’ campaign, which is calling for a second inquiry into the 1981 blaze in which 48 young Dublin people perished.

What We Haven’t Been Told

13th JUNE 2018

This event challenged aspects of the report by Lord Saville on the Bloody Sunday killings. Saville’s report has been marketed as a model for other families bereaved by State violence seeking the truth. This suggestion was put under the microscope.

 Panel presentations

Summing Up

Speakers included:

  • Eileen McKeown, whose father Joseph Corr who murdered in the Ballymurphy Massacre,
  • Liam Wray, whose brother Jim was murdered on Bloody Sunday,
  • Patrick Murphy, former member of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and Irish News columnist,
  • Eamonn McCann, journalist and longstanding campaigner for truth and justice for Bloody Sunday,
  • Chaired by independent journalist Cathrine McGinty

 

Download Press Release about this event.

Bridget Bond Collection Launched At Tower Museum

Bridget Bond at the Bloody Sunday memorial.


The Tower Museum has launched the Bridget Bond Collection as part of the Speeches, Strikes and Struggles project at the Tower Museum, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.

Bridget Bond is one of the most well-known leaders in the civil rights movement in Derry. Bridget was a key member of Derry Housing Action Committee and the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association.

Bridget Bond also played a major role in the creation of the Bloody Sunday Monument.

The Bridget Bond Collection consists of items that are a combination of pamphlets, letters, memos, reports, minutes of meetings, posters, booklets, notebooks, magazines and newspapers. This collection relates strongly to Northern Ireland Civil Rights movement particularly in Derry. Items in this collection will have been rarely seen before and will give audiences a different perspective into behind the scenes of the operations of the Derry and Northern Ireland Civil Rights Associations.  Some of the documents chart the divisions between NICRA and the Derry branch and illustrate the unique position that Derry found itself in during the late 60s and early 70s.

Bridget standing on the steps of the Guidlhall as Bernadette Devlin addresses a crowd.

 

 

Bloody Sunday March – programme

We Shall Overcome

The Bloody Sunday commemoration has become Ireland’s largest annual human rights event. This year’s program is the most wide-ranging and inclusive so far.

There will be a dozen events spread over seven venues in the week leading up to the annual March. These will include discussion on why “Past is Present” with Miami show-band survivor Stephen Travers, Eugene Reavey, whose brothers were murdered in 1976, Alan McBride, who lost his wife Sharon, in the Shankill bomb in 1993 and Ann Morgan, sister of Seamus Ruddy, one of “The Disappeared”.

Former Long Kesh internee, Francie McGuiggan, Catalonian activist Omar Merino, Palestinian campaigner Fadl Mustapha will speak about the reality of internment here today and in other countries across the world.

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will join Bernadette McAliskey on the stage in the Guildhall to deliver a public lecture titled “Bloody Sunday, Brexit and the Democratic Process.”

James Orr, Friends of the Earth NI, and Fidelma O’Kane of Save Our Sperrins will speak on the threat to our environment from gold mining in the Sperrins and industrial scale factory farms.

An “open mike” session on “Brutal Justice” exploring attitudes to “punishment” beatings and shootings, will hear from journalist William Allen whose nephew Andy was shot dead, Social Worker Lecturer Sean Roddy, local author John Lindsay and academic Deaglan O’Donghaile.

“We Shall Overcome”, a panel comprising Joe Delaney of the Grenfell Tower disaster, Liam Wray, whose brother Jim was murdered on Bloody Sunday, Becky Shah of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and Suresh Grover of the London-based Monitoring Group, will compare and contrast their knowledge and experience of public inquiries into State injustices and coverups.

The Derry launch of former hunger striker Richard O’Rawe’s acclaimed book on Gerry Conlon, “In The Name Of The Son,” will take place in the Central Library.

Full details of these and other events see our website, bloodysundaymarch.org

We welcome debate on all these topics during the week.  Everyone, irrespective of their political views, is invited to come to the events and offer their different views on how best to mark Bloody Sunday and on the connections between it and other State atrocities worldwide.

We don’t have to agree on everything.  It would be strange if we did in this argumentative city.  But its more important than ever that we stick together.

The Crown Prosecution Service in England will make decisions before the end of March on the charging of paratroopers who opened fire on Bloody Sunday.  This will cause major controversy: former British soldiers backed by Tory politicians and high-ranking officers will mount loud demands for no prosecutions. Additionally the families of those killed at Loughlinisland await a decision on the Ombudsman’s recent report confirming collusion in the killing of their loved ones.

We should speak with one voice, demanding not only that the shooters be put in the dock but that the politicians and top brass that sent them to Derry be also brought to book.

We should remember that the original bloody Sunday March was broad-based. The speakers waiting on the platform at Free Derry corner when the shooting broke out were Briget Bond of the NI Civil Rights Association, the Labour peer, Lord Brockway, SDLP MP Ivan Cooper, Presbyterian Minister Terrence McCaughey and Bernadette Devlin (McAliskey).

Bloody Sunday was experienced in Derry as a communal wound, the pain of which still throbs and won’t ease until all the families and surviving wounded can feel that truth has been told and justice done.

Bloody Sunday differs from the other massacres in the North which stand like grave-stones marking the passing of the years of conflict.  The killing took place at close quarters before hundreds of local people who had earlier marched for civil rights and against internment, stunned by horror, outrage and grief inflicted by men uniformed to represent the British state.

The massacre cannot be put down solely to ancient Irish hatreds.  It was rooted in imperial history, in the scorn of Empire for the lives of plain people.  Hence the Tory Government’s sigh of relief when the Inquiry under Lord Saville pointed the finger of blame at a bunch of squaddies and one undisciplined officer.  That’s not good enough.

We are also acutely aware that the grief of Derry is no different in human rights terms from the grief of Ballymurphy, Greysteel, Loughinisland, the Shankill, Kingsmills, Birmingham, etc. etc.

We urge everyone who seeks justice to come out and show their support and solidarity with this years programme, march and rally.  Together we shall overcome.

Loughinisland Legal Morass

In June 2017 the Police Ombudsman  Dr Michael Maguire released the report of his findings on the case of the the RUC investigation into the Loughinisland massacre.  In 1994 eleven people were shot, six of whom died, in the Heights Bar in Loughinisland, County Down,  as they watched Ireland play in the World Cup.   The report released by the watchdog last June found that some RUC officers had colluded with the UVF gunmen responsible for the 1994 attack.

The report and the investigation which lead to it came to wider attention last autumn through the release of the documentary “No Stone Unturned“.  The film named the main suspects, one of whom was a British soldier, and one a police informer.  Subsequently the Ombudsman’s report has been challenged by a judicial review on behalf of the “NI Retired Police Officers Association”.

The  judicial review which was raised by Former Assistant Chief Constable Raymond White and retired officer Thomas Hawthorne is being heard in Belfast High Court by Mr Justice McCloskey.

The proceedings took a dramatic turn on Friday (12th Jan 2018) when Barra McGrory QC made a surprise appearance representing the Ombudsman.  Barra McGrory served as the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland from 2011 to 2017.  The QC raised the issue that Mr Justice McCloskey had previously, when he was a barrister, represented the “NI Retired Police Officers Association” in a similar case in 2003,  which sought to quash a report by former Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan into findings of RUC collusion in the Omagh bombing.  While that challenge was unsuccessful one of the complainants named in that case was Raymond White.

The Irish News reported that “lawyers for both the ombudsman and the victim’s families have raised questions in relation to this, pointing to guidelines which recommend judges recuse themselves where there may be a perceived conflict of interest.”  

Later, speaking to The Irish News,  Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan’s office  said “Judges who are aware of any such conflict or who are asked to recuse themselves will make an assessment based on the circumstances of the individual case. There was no such awareness or request in the present case.” 

Clearly this case is of great interest to the families of the victims of Loughinisland who would have expected Justice McCloskey to recuse himself and allow the judicial review to be heard by a judge without a “perceived conflict of interest”.

The judicial review has now been adjourned until next Friday (19th Jan 2018). The Irish News concluded that it seems that whatever Justice McCloskey’s final ruling,  an appeal by the ombudsman is now inevitable.

More details in Saturday’s Irish News.

The trailer for the documentary is below.  The issues around the Loughinisland case and the treatment of other “legacy cases” will be addressed in our event on “Due Process and Accountability” on Saturday 27th.

 

 

Yanis Varoufakis to Speak at Guildhall

Yanis Varoufakis

‘Bloody Sunday, Brexit & The Democratic Process’

Acclaimed economist and former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will deliver a public lecture at Derry’s Guildhall in January 2018. Yanis Varoufakis

The lecture, titled ‘Bloody Sunday, Brexit & The Democratic Process’ will address the question of why civil societies across the world are demanding democratic change and accountability from their governments and what can sometimes happen when those demands are frustrated or resisted with: indifference, censure, repression and violence.

Speaking on behalf of the event organisers, Stephen Gargan of the Bloody Sunday March Committee said:

“Our committee decided to invite Yanis Varaoufakis to Derry because we believe his experience as former Greek Finance Minister and his current involvement with DiEM 25 (Democracy in Europe Movement 2025) leave him ideally placed to speak about the seismic global political changes sweeping the world and more specifically we believe the economic arguments and analysis he advances help shed much needed light and clarity on Britain’s recent ‘Brexit’ decision and what the likely consequences of that decision might be for the island of Ireland and our relationship with the UK.”

Mr Gargan continued:

“We felt it was really important, given January 2018 will be the 46th anniversary of the events of Bloody Sunday, to invite Yanis to locate those tragic events within a wider, world context, which hopefully will allow people to see Bloody Sunday in a global timeline and as part of a continuum of people across the world expressing their desires and demands for democratic change and also what can happen when those same desires and demands are suppressed with violence and lethal force”.

The event will take place on Friday, January 26th and following the lecture Mr Varoufakis will participate in a public conversation with former MP and leading human rights activist, Bernadette McAliskey.

Bernadette rose to prominence during the late in 1960’s as one on the leading voices of the civil rights movement here advocating political change. She was also one of a number of public speakers scheduled to speak from the platform in Derry on January 30th 72 when British paratroopers entered the Bogside and opened fire on the fleeing crowd.

Background on Yanis Varoufakis

Based in Athens, Greece, Yanis Varoufakis was formerly finance minister with the Syriza party. Due to his opposition to crippling financial terms being offered by the European Union with regard to a bail out of the Greek economy he resigned his post in July 2015.

He is a founder member of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, which was founded in February 2016.

He is also the author of a number of highly influential books on world economics, which include:   ‘The Global Minotaur, ‘And The Weak Suffer What They Must’ and more recently, ‘Adults in the Room: My Battle with Europe’s Deep Establishment’ (as eBook), and ‘Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism’ (as eBook).

 

Bloody Sunday Para killed another innocent man in Belfast

Article in the Irish News about the HET report on the killing of Ritchie McKinnie.

One of the members of the British Parachute regiment who was present in Derry on Bloody Sunday went on to shoot and kill another innocent man on the Shankhill Road, Belfast.

In the Bloody Sunday  Inquiry  he was known as Soldier 027, where it emerged that he had given an account of his role in the shooting of Ritchie McKinnie to a journalist in which he described the killing as “an enjoyable experience and one which greatly enhanced my standing within the battalion”.

In the Historical Enquiries Team(HET) investigation into the killing of Mr McKinnie, the same member of the Paras is referred to “Soldier J”.

Now a draft (HET) report recently given to Mr McKinnie’s daughter has confirmed that the 49-year-old factory manager was a “totally innocent man”.

Read the full article in the Irish News

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A State Of Chassis

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey giving her talk

The Field Day Annual Lecture entitled A State Of Chassis was delivered by Bernadette McAliskey at the Playhouse Theatre, Derry, at 7pm on Friday, September 30th.

In anticipation of the talk, Kitty Holland recently wrote a profile of Bernadette

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