Bloody Sunday March for Justice 2017

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Crowds of local people joined a diverse range of activists and bands from across Ireland and beyond today at the Bloody Sunday March for Justice.

Relatives of those killed and representatives from the wounded led the march, carrying 14 white crosses to symbolise those who lost their lives on Bloody Sunday.

Relatives of those killed and some of the wounded carry the white crosses in memory of the dead at the annual Bloody Sunday March for Justice.

Relatives of those killed and some of the wounded carry the white crosses in memory of the dead at the annual Bloody Sunday March for Justice.

Participants moved off from the Creggan Shops under blue skies shortly after 3pm this afternoon, making their along the traditional route via Southway, Lecky Road and Westland Street.

Banners and flags with political, human rights, trade union and environmental messages were held aloft as the marchers descended into the Bogside.

At Free Derry Corner, Damien ‘Bubbles’ Donaghy, who was shot on Bloody Sunday, read out the names of those killed and wounded on January 30, 1972.

Kate Nash, whose brother William was shot dead on Bloody Sunday, and whose father Alexander was shot and wounded as he tried to reach his teenage son, addressed the crowds from the lorry set up in front of Free Derry Corner.

A rendition of 'We Shall Overcome' is performed during the rally at Free Derry Corner.

A rendition of 'We Shall Overcome' is performed during the rally at Free Derry Corner.

Ms. Nash said that seven years ago there was attempts to shut the march down but that did “that did not sit well with us”.

“We felt that the battle had not been won,” she said.

“We knew the Bloody Sunday victims deserved more. Here we are today still on this platform demanding justice for the families of Bloody Sunday.

“The Bloody Sunday murder investigation has recently been completed and sent to the Public Prosecution Service. So we await their decision. Meanwhile the British government are beavering away and talking about bringing in legislation to protect their soldiers- they don’t believe old age pensioners should face prosecution. One law for them and another one for us. There you have it, a government that is giving their army a license to murder.”

Ms. Nash referred to others fighting for justice, including the families of the Ballymurphy victims, the families of Seamus Bradley and Daniel Hegarty who were killed during Operation Motorman, the family of Martha Campbell.

“All these innocent people cry out for justice. The list goes on and on.”

There were cheers and shouts of ‘Free Tony Taylor’ as Ms. Nash mentioned his case.

“He was taken from his family almost a year ago. No reason was given by the authorities, nor indeed to Tony’s legal representation. No indication whatever, a clear abuse of power by the British government, but we are used to that aren’t we?”

She also said the injustice of poverty due to austerity cuts, a health service on its knees “while the power sharing Stormont regime sends millions up on smoke”.

“This platform will continue to rage against all these wrongs,” she added.

“We will also rage against racism, sectarianism, the vilest of behaviour.”

Sheila Coleman from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign told those gathered that she was honoured to have been chosen to place a wreath on behalf of the families at the Bloody Sunday monument.

“The whole politics of the deaths of so many people, it is political, but we can never forget that it is personal as well. The personal toll on you, your families and to be in a march and to be stopping and remembering where your loved ones died is profound.”

Ms Coleman added: “I believe we have a moral obligation, we can’t give up we owe it to the dead when any injustice has been committed. We have a responsibility to fight because they can no longer fight.”