Panel Discussion: You’ll Never Walk Alone

Event Details

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This event will contrast the experiences and the struggles of three very different campaigns in pursuit of truth and justice.

Photograph of Sheila Coleman

Sheila Coleman, Hillsborough Justice Campaign

Having campaigned for many years, suffering deep disappointments along the way and having only relatively recently come through a gruelling inquest process where the jury returned a unanimous verdict of ‘Unlawful Killing’, Sheila Coleman, Hillsborough Justice Campaign, will talk about the Liverpool families long running campaign for truth and justice for the 96.

Photograph of Marcia Rigg

Marcia Rigg of United Families & Friends Campaign

Marcia Rigg’s brother Sean died in Brixton police station in August 2008 after being held in a state of prolonged restraint by police officers.  Marcia will talk about her families campaign for their brother and her work with the London based ‘United Families & Friends Campaign’, which is a coalition of those affected by the deaths of their loved ones in: police, prison and psychiatric custody and which offers support to others throughout Britain in similar situations.

Raymond McCord

Raymond McCord outside Belfast High Court

Belfast man Raymond McCord has been campaigning since 1997 following the murder of his son Raymond junior by the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).  Deeply angered and frustrated by the lack of interest coming from unionists politicians within his own community Raymond went on to carry out his own investigation, discovering that the murder of his son Raymond junior had been sanctioned by North Belfast UVF commander Mark Haddock.  Later discovering that Haddock was a police informer who wasn’t questioned for the killing of his son, Raymond McCord is one of the few voices within the unionist community who has publicly spoken out against collusion between the security forces and loyalist organisations.

Venue: City Hotel (Alexander Suite)

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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