Republicans at the annual Derry volunteers commemoration were told that while tactics may change, ideals remain the same.
Sinn Féin councillor Kevin Campbell made the comment during his oration at the commemoration in the City Cemetery on Sunday.
Colr. Campbell said many of the conditions which led previous generations of republicans to join the IRA no longer exist.
“Tactics may change, strategies may change, but our ideals do not. At different times in our history, the struggle has been about physical force, at others it has not. Republicanism is not defined by the use or non-use of armed struggle. There is no need for armed actions because the conditions now exist to achieve republican objectives through the political process. We promote and pursue those objectives in all that we do. In fact, to take up arms, when there is no need or justification, is to do a disservice to the struggle,” he said.
The former mayor also said; “The opponents of republicanism haven’t gone away. The most recent attack on equality in general – and the rights of former prisoners in particular – which was shamefully aided and abetted by the SDLP - is proof of that.”