Bloody Sunday Programme 2014

 “Justice… it concerns us all.”

Context

In keeping with the aspirations of the original civil rights movement and the spirit of successive Bloody Sunday commemorations, the march and programme of events for 2014 will act as an inclusive platform for the many seemingly disparate campaigns that concern the people of these islands and beyond. As in previous years it will be a moment to come together, make connections and raise our issues and voices in debate and solidarity.

We are living in a time when ordinary people are being coerced by government and corporate institutions. A time when our natural resources are being systemically ravaged and exploited by multi-nationals for the benefit of the few. A time when the values of accountants and bankers dictate how we all live our lives, and it’s us who are being made to pay the bill for their greed, while they continue to grab more and more.

Throughout Ireland and Britain working people and those struggling to find work are being harassed by employers who seize the opportunity to roll back equality and fairness in pursuit of greater profit. Everything is calculated, costed and measured by ‘the market’, and it says ordinary people’s lives and concerns don’t matter! We see the old tactic of divide and rule diverting anger & frustration into sectarian, racist and sexist support for demands to drive somebody out of somewhere. Now, more than ever, we need to make common cause with all those struggling for justice in its many aspects.

Against this backdrop of right wing policies and so called ‘austerity’, the unresolved justice questions of our past continue to make the headlines. Many long years after their loved ones were taken from them, relatives and friends still calling for truth and justice are increasingly being met with counter voices saying: no to investigations, no to prosecutions and no to inquiries and inquests. Through its surrogates the state tells us we as a society need to move on. Justice and accountability for past events is considered to be too expensive and we are told: we can’t afford justice for the dead, think only of the living. Those who challenge that view are systematically isolated, alienated and even demonised.

Events

In this context this year’s programme begins with the launch of an exhibition by the families of those ‘disappeared’ by the IRA in the course of the conflict (Pilots Row, Monday, 27th Jan.)

Events then shift to the Nerve Centre where film screenings will explore amongst other things, the British Army’s ‘Military Reaction Force’, a secret terrorist unit operating in Belfast in 1973 (Thur 30th). Then on Friday evening (31st), Professor of criminology at Queens University Phil Scraton will deliver a talk on the extent of the British state’s coverup of responsibility for the Hillsborough Football Stadium disaster (Sheffield 1989).

These events set up the two panel discussions in Pilot’s Row on Sat, 1st Feb. The first event will explore different approaches to dealing with the violent acts perpetrated in the course of the conflict. The second will give voice to a range of contemporary campaigns for social and environmental justice including, Shell to Sea (Co. Mayo) and opposition to Fracking (Leitrim & Fermanagh) as well as opposition to the so called ‘Austerity Cuts’ on both sides of the border

March

The march will assemble on Sunday 2nd Feb. at 2.30pm at the Creggan shops, Central Drive.

Video of the Launch of Programme

View as Event List

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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