The theme of this years annual Bloody Sunday march is ‘Resist’, to highlight what has been taking place in the U.S.A. Reverend Osagyefo Sekou, American civil rights campaigner, will be the main speaker after this year’s Bloody Sunday rally.
He will also be guest speaker at a number of events during this week, speaking about this upsurge in police violence against the black community, and why ‘Black Lives Matter’.
An impassioned gathering attended a vigil for Michael Browns’ family and the people of Ferguson, Missouri at Free Derry Wall on Saturday November 30. Key speakers were Bloody Sunday family member, Kate Nash and veteran Civil Rights campaigner, Eamon Mc Cann.
Media images of several days protest on the streets of Ferguson were shown across the world, following the decision of the Grand Jury not to indict police officer, Darren Wilson, on any charges for shooting dead the American teenager on August 9.
There was much outrage throughout the world, with numerous demonstrations in solidarity with the Brown family, and on the wider issue of institutionalised racism.
Speaking to the Derry Journal before the Bloody Sunday March Committee held their vigil, Kate Nash said:
“As family members of the Bloody Sunday dead, we draw parallels with other unarmed and innocent victims killed by the forces of law and order.”
Regarding the judicial response, or lack of, in the Michael Brown case, Kate Nash drew similarities between their experiences and that of the Brown family, stating:
“You have a judicial system that’s meant to be independent and impartial, but in reality, is actually politically interfered with.”
Regarding similarities between Ferguson and what engulfed Derry, 42 years ago, Eamon Mc Cann said: “Distance and skin colour make no difference to the grief and anger that has erupted across the US since the decision not to prosecute the policeman who pumped six bullets into the teenager’s body.”
Eamon Mc Cann also warned of the dangers regarding the dramatic rise in the militarisation of policing in the US stating:
“We can recognise that scenario here too, and know that no good came of it for anyone involved.”
Over the course of the last two months, several killings by US police officers have occurred, along with countless instances of police brutality.
Twelve year old, Tmir Rice, was gunned down in, Cleveland, Ohio, while playing with a pellet gun; and, Jerame Reid was shot dead in New Jersey, as he got out of a car, with his hands up.
Shocking images of Eric Garner calling out, ‘I can’t breath’ as he was suffocated to death, while being violently restrained by several police officers; and, the failure to indict any police officer for this, has caused massive resentment.