Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Thousands took to the streets to march on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday – DerryNow Report

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The feedback I got all week was that the 2022 Bloody Sunday March in Derry today would be huge. This turned out to be true. An initial report is below.

Here is the intriguing bit. The mass media (e.g. RTÉ Radio Bulletin this morning at 8.00am) reported lots of other stuff – for example, Dublin government taoiseach Mícheál Martin laying a wreath – and said nothing about the march this afternoon at 2.30pm in Derry featuring speeches by Bernadette McAliskey, Éamonn McCann, and others. RTÉ is a public service broadcaster in Ireland largely funded by a license fee. It comes under pressure from the “great and the good” to toe the line and exclude radical voices. And sometimes it gets things spectacularly wrong – today was an example.

What is the key political message today : Prosecute the Generals!

We will keep fighting – and, eventually, we might win. If we don’t fight, we definitely lose.

It is very similar to what happened on the day of the 2016 100th anniversary monster parade in Dublin supporting the 1916 Rising – the Irish establishment media disgraced itself reporting on tiny religious ceremonies in Ballygobackwards and the like. It ignored tens of thousands on Dublin streets participating in a colourful parade.

Limerick Soviet Banner Carried on April 2016 Commemoration of the Irish 1916 Easter Rising

The weather did not stop the people of Derry as thousands took part in the March for Justice on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

British Army Paratroopers shot dead 13 and wounded 14 civilians during a civil rights march on Sunday, January 30, 1972. A 14th person died later from his injuries.

People from all over the island and beyond took to the streets of Derry, leaving Creggan at 2:15 this afternoon and marching peacefully through the streets of Derry finishing at Free Derry Corner.

The route retraces the original route of the civil rights march 50 years ago in 1972. Many held signs demanding justice from the British Government for those who lost their lives.

When the crowds returned to the Bogside, there was a rally at Free Derry corner with Bernadette McAliskey, née Devlin, and well-known civil rights campaigner Eamonn McCann among the speakers.

Irish civil rights leader, Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, gave a powerful speech to the crowd, “People walk this road every year, there has to be another generation of people, like the young people here,” she said.

“I’m so glad to see so many young faces here. One thing that is certain, Bloody Sunday will never be forgotten.

“Again, as we have done every year, reminding people that Bloody Sunday was not just about the people who were killed, not just about the city and it was not just the first of many killings that broke our hearts for thirty years, this was different.

“This was a day when the British Government policy which had started weeks and months before, came to fruition on the street.

“Internment was introduced to try and break the people. They have responded with more marches and strikes. People tend to forget history, but nowhere in the six counties has forgotten.

“It was that kind of mass action that the British Government was afraid of. They were afraid of the marches as a result.

“It is the same today, what they are afraid of is this here. They are not afraid of the lone gunman, they are not afraid of the sniper, they are not afraid of the secret army. They can infiltrate, they recruit agents out of them.

“What they are afraid of is this here. Masses of people who won’t quit. People who will tell their children and their grandchildren.

“If I don’t see the British Government in the dock, my children, my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren will see them in it some day.”

The establishment media has not said too much about a general strike which swept across Ireland because of Derry’s Bloody Sunday – resulting in the burning 🔥 of Dublin’s British Embassy on Wednesday February 2 1972. Listen to a fascinating account by historian Brian Hanly here :

In summary, let us record : In 1972 the Dublin Government caught up with the public mood across Ireland and declared a “National Day of Mourning” on the day of the funeral for the 13 civilians murdered by the British Army Paratroop Regiment on Derry’s Bloody Sunday. A general strike swept across Ireland, giving a mandate to people on a huge march – Called by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions – who burned the British Embassy to ashes. Wednesday February 2 1972 – A day to be proud of a Risen People in Dublin.

John Meehan January 30 2022

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