Bloody Sunday March for Justice Ribbon badge

On Wednesday 9th January 2013 people gathered around the Bloody Sunday monument on Rossville Street in Derry as Kate Nash welcomed Gerry Conlon on behalf of the Bloody Sunday March Committee to launch their Black Ribbon Commemorative Badge. It is a simple metal lapel badge representing a black ribbon with the words “Bloody Sunday 1972 – 2013”.

Bloody Sunday March for Justice Commemorative Badge 2013

The sense of common experience was evident to all present. If anyone knows the depths to which the British establishment will sink in its treatment of Irish ‘political’ prisoners Gerry Conlon is one such man.

Conlon along with his late Father Guiseppe and three others were sentenced to life imprisonment based on false allegations that they had played a part in the IRA bombings of pubs in Guilford and Woolwich in 1974. Although it soon became very clear that the case against all the defendants was fundamentally flawed, all would spent many years in various British prisons for crimes they did not commit. Guiseppe died in such circumstances in 1980 and his last words to his son were: “my death will be the key to your release”.

It would be another ten years before that freedom was achieved.  And today 23 years later, always prepared to lend support to other cases of injustice, his own fight for justice continues.  Earlier in the day he spoke at Derry courthouse lending his support to the case for the release of Marian Price, whose detention he has described as “internment by remand”.

The original march in 1972 was organised to protest at the use of Interment by the Northern Irish government of the day and so it is fitting that someone of Colon’s standing should unveil this year’s commemorative badge.

This  year’s  Bloody Sunday March for Justice takes place on Sunday 27th January,  leaving the shops at Central Drive, Creggan at 2.30pm.  Speaking at the monument Gerry Conlon urged everyone to join the march.


There is a short video from the event below:

“The families need to see justice done.”


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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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