Paddy Hill – The Whole Truth Panel – Derry 30 January 2016

In 1974 Paddy Hill was charged alongside five other men with the biggest mass murder on the Britih mainland – the Birmingham pub bombings. Arrested and beaten by members of the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, Hill was condemned by false scientific evidence. He was deprived of his freedom for 16 years, three months and 23 days. Paddy Joe rebelled against the system from the outset, enduring frequent spells in solitary confinement as the authorities tried to keep him down. With his wife and family suffering on the outside, Paddy Joe campaigned obsessively against the convictions – and gradually the world started to listen. After the nail-biting appeals and the elation of at last regaining his freedom, he was to face one of the toughest challenges of all – rebuilding his life in a world he could barely recognise.

High-lights:

  • Paddy Hill Birminghan 6: 00:00
  • Rangers supporters: 01:04
  • Disgusted with the apathy of Birmingham people: 01:26
  • Who killed Maxine?: 02:51
  • Names Birmingham Bombers: 04:48
  • The 3rd IRA Birmingham Bomb: 07:05
  • Inquest: 11:29
  • Alan Hill’s book: 11:41
  • From day one Police told us we were not responsible for the bombs: 17:35
  • Trial Judge goes sick: 19:02
  • 75 year PPI order on case papers: 21:31
  • On the Hooch: 26:05
  • How to write a letter : 36:12

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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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