Discussion: Out of the Shadows

Event Details

Videos from this event include:

Panel Discussion

A panel discussion exploring the state’s coercive methods of control through its police, army and secret organisations: the practice of collusion and the expedient use of death squads here in the past has been refined for today’s needs to one of covert surveillance and infiltration of communities by paid informers.

Applying what it learned here there is growing and disturbing evidence to suggest Britain’s use of the North as a laboratory for developing strategies and methods to control and suppress communities such as the marginalised and isolated community of Ardoyne in Belfast are now being employed against Black and Asian communities in the inner cites of England.

Increasingly these same communities are experiencing the state’s use of informers, agent provocateurs and targeted killings such as the killing of Mark Duggan in London on 4th August 2011, whose death provoked widespread rioting in that city and in other cities across Britain.

Also looking south of the border today we see a more overt use of political policing in the recent actions of the Garda in its attempts to suppress legitimate anti-water charges protests by communities right across the 26 counties.


Mark McGovern, Professor of sociology at Edge Hill University Liverpool.  His main areas of research are concerned with human rights, state violence and transitional justice.

He is currently undertaking research, working in collaboration with human rights NGOs and community organisations, on state violence, collusion and truth recovery and exploring comparative experiences of policing and social exclusion within Irish, Black and Muslim communities.

His publications include:

  • Ardoyne: The Untold Truth (2002),
  • Countering Terror or Counter-Productive: Comparing Irish and British Muslim Experiences of Counter-insurgency Law and Policy (2010) and
  • States of Collusion: State Violence, Human Rights and Transitional Justice (2015, forthcoming)

Suresh Grover is Director and founding member of the London based ‘Monitoring Group’ whose work is in supporting individuals and families experiencing racial prejudice and violence.

He is one of the leading exponents of family and justice campaigns in the UK. He has led over hundred campaigns to help families, including those related to Blair Peach, Bradford 12, Ricky Reel, Michael Menson, Amarjit Chohan, Stephen Lawrence, Zahid Mubarek and Victoria Climbie – the latter three cases led to Public Judicial Inquiries and consequent changes in legislation and practices.

His work also includes developing international public interest campaigns to support communities suffering discrimination, racism and genocide as well as those affected by ecological disasters induced by either state or corporate neglect.

Aidan Ferguson will speak on behalf of The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC). The organisation was established in 2009 in response to Loyal Order Parades being forced through their community, which regularly cause militarised curfews, inevitable rioting, negative community tensions and the demonisation of Ardoyne residents.

“GARC is a fully constituted community development and resource organization that works for and advocates on behalf of the Greater Ardoyne Community in order to improve the lives of local residents.  Core areas of GARC campaigning and activity are in relation to the lack of leisure facilities in the area, housing, sectarianism, political policing, State repression, culture and language, sports, holding political parties to account, equality and other issues.” 

Clare Daly is a TD for Dail Eireann representing the working class communities of North Dublin.  A founding member of the United Left Alliance she was recently instrumental in exposing malpractice within the south’s Garda Siochana through her support of a Garda whistle blower.  In addition to her involvement in many other campaigns on social justice issues, including supporting the campaign to stop the US military using Shannon airport, she continues to be active in the south’s anti-water charges campaign.

Helen Steel
Helen is one of a number of women who sued the police after being deceived into intimate sexual relationships with undercover policemen who were infiltrating environmental and social justice movements in the UK.  During relationships lasting up to 9 years, officers invaded the women’s private lives and children were born as a result. In taking legal action the women sought to expose these abuses and prevent such relationships from happening again.

In November 2005 the Metropolitan Police issued an unprecedented apology to seven of the women acknowledging that these relationships were a violation of the women’s human rights. More Information

The event will be chaired by John Finucane  (Finucane & Toner Solicitors, Belfast).  John Finucane’s father Patrick was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries acting in collusion with the British government intelligence service MI5 in February 1989.  The Finucane family continue to campaign for an independent public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.

Venue: Pilots Row Community Centre,

Admission: Free

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Context 2017

One World One Struggle

Bloody Sunday was inflicted on the people of Derry.  But it has resonated around the world.  It is a local issue relevant to people everywhere.

Over the 45 years since British paratroopers erupted into the working-class Bogside area with rifles spitting death at civil rights marchers, representatives of victims of State violence from both sides of the Atlantic, from Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere, have travelled to Derry to take part in the annual commemoration and give substance to the idea of 'One World, One Struggle'. 

The British Government still sets its face Iike flint against telling the full truth about the Derry massacre.  A long Inquiry reported in 2010 that all the dead and wounded had been unlawfully shot. Despite this, the Report stopped well short of proposing prosecution of the killers - and pointed no finger of`blame at the senior military officers who had sent the Paras in, or at the politicians who had connived at the assault and then orchestrated a cover-up.

This is always the way when it comes to the violence of imperialism.

Only the persistence of family members and their supporters forced a police investigation. We await the outcome. One reason the British authorities fear the facts about Bloody Sunday is that this massacre cannot be ascribed to warring Irish factions. This was an authentically British atrocity.

Past commemorations have featured African Americans, Palestinians, former Guantanamo prisoners, victims of police violence in Britain etc., as well as members of other families bereaved by murder here in the North, in many cases murder inflicted by State agents and then systematically lied about to protect the same undercover agents.

Lectures, debates and cultural events are highlighted, economic struggles, women’s rights, gay rights, the rights of the environment, and many other examples of`oppression.  We have commemorated, too, the killing of other innocent people by non-State groups - Dublin Monaghan, Birmingham, Shankill, Greysteel, the Ormeau bookies, etc.

We believe that the programme we have produced this year puts Bloody Sunday in its proper context, an extreme example of the fact that, commonly, it’s innocent people who pose no threat to anyone who bear the brunt of conflict.

The trek towards truth and justice has been long and sometimes arduous. But we keep on keeping on because the cause is just and gives good example to the one world in which we all struggle. 

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