Jan 2013: 1,000s March for Justice on Bloody Sunday anniversary

March

The 2013 Bloody Sunday March For Justice had the theme ‘End Impunity’.

Despite a wet, windy, wintery day around 3500 people braved the elements to march in solidarity with the victims of Bloody Sunday and other injustices.  The march followed the usual route with the numbers growing steadily as it passed through Creggan and the Brandywell.

Rally

At the march approached the Free Derry Wall, wreathes were laid at the Bloody Sunday memorial.  The rally platform was chaired by Kate Nash. Damien Donaghy read the names of the dead and wounded from January 1972.  Bernadette McAliskey was the main speaker.  Paddy Nash then lead the crowd singing of the classic Civil Rights song:  “We Shall Overcome”

Bernadette McAliskey addressing Rally  on Sunday 27th Jan 2013

 

Films and Panel Discussions

This years events included film screenings and panel discussions on the themes of “Coverup” and those in power acting with “End Impunity”.  In addition to Bloody Sunday itself,  these discussions focused on an attack on picketing miners at Orgreave during the 1984 miner strike in Britain, the Hillsborough football stadium disaster in Sheffield when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death due to inadequate safety and crowd management provision on the day, the Ballymurphy Massacre when 11 people where killed by the British Army over three days in August 1971 in Belfast, and the coverup of serial child sex-abuse by the Catholic Church in the Irish Government.  Every seat was taken in the minor hall in Pilots Row for these discussions.  Videos of the highlights of these events will be published in the coming two weeks.

Drama

On Saturday night we staged Ailliliú Fionnuala the new drama by Donal O’Kelly on the scandal that has been playing out with impunity in Rossport.  In Rossport for some 10 years now the local community have been under occupation by Shell and the Garda as they courageously and non-violently fight for their human rights. This is a vital struggle we should all be concerned with.  In addition to the common wealth of the Irish people being given away to Shell/Statoil for the taking, its being done in scant regard to the health & safety of the people whose lives will be most affected by the processing of the resources.  Those who were there saw genius at work.  Ailliliú Fionnuala weaves a magical tail that has you laughing one moment and grimacing the next as it cuts right to the democratic heart of the issue.  Its a must see that is currently being performed across Ireland and we hope to see it back in Derry later in the year.

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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