Rundown of inquiry Denounced

Rundown of Inquiry Denounced by Families

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The run-down of the police inquiry into the Bloody Sunday murders is just the latest episode in the British State’s avoidance of the truth about its own role in the Troubles.

The new investigation was supposed to be stand-alone. But now it’s to take by far the biggest hit in the cut-backs in policing. That’s a political decision, not a cost-cutting measure. It shows what a low priority is being placed on bringing those responsible for Bloody Sunday to justice.

The report of the Bloody Sunday Tribunal was political. Lord Saville gave all British politicians and the army top brass a clean bill of health. All the blame was put on one middle-rank officer and nine rank and file paras. That finding did not follow from the evidence. But it followed the usual pattern of official inquiries.IMG_4301

 

accepted no blame

That was the reason David Cameron was able to give his apology at Westminster. He apologised for the murders, but put it all down to rogue soldiers. He accepted no blame on behalf of the government, the British Army or the Parachute Regiment.

In light of this new decision, making the police inquiry meaningless, the double-talk and hypocrisy of Cameron’s apology is even more glaring.

If the powers-that-be were truly sorry for Bloody Sunday, there would be no question of scaling the investigation back. What hope is there now for truth and justice for the families of those shot down by the paras in Ballymurphy six months before Bloody Sunday or the families of the two men murdered by paras on the Shankill eight months afterwards?

IMG_4297 latest chapter in a cover-up

What we have here is the latest chapter in a cover-up which was under way before the smoke had cleared from Rossville Street. It’s the same cover-up strategy seen in Iraq, Afghanistan, anywhere that soldiers from major powers are exposed for killing innocent civilians.

The PSNI inquiry had been making painfully slow progress. Now it has effectively been brought to a standstill. This decision was ostensibly made by the PSNI. But there is no doubt whose interests are ultimately served. To whom is Chief Constable George Hamilton accountable in relation to this decision.

 think again

If the Westminster Government or police chiefs in the North think that we don’t have the energy or determination to keep on campaigning until we get full truth and justice, they have another think coming.  Those who believe that there’s nothing left to march for in relation to Bloody Sunday should also think again.IMG_4295

not a narrow issue

This is not a narrow issue relevant only to one community in the North. It is relevant to everyone everywhere who believes that when the State kills its citizens it must be made accountable. The Bloody Sunday issue remains a key test of democracy.

 

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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. 

Bloody Sunday March News