Republicans call for ‘mass mobilisation’ to confront British army veterans

The veterans' campaigners on a previous march.
The veterans' campaigners on a previous march.

A republican group who claimed victory when organisers cancelled a British army veterans march through Derry last week is calling for a ‘mass mobilisation’ at a similar planned for Belfast in April.

The Belfast branch of Saoradh (Irish word for liberation), issued their intent to confront the army veterans on their Facebook page on Wednesday.

The message posted by Saoradh Beal Feirste on their Facebook page on Wednesday.

The message posted by Saoradh Beal Feirste on their Facebook page on Wednesday.

“Saoradh Béal Feirste will be organising a mass mobilisation to demonstrate local and national opposition to this charade that seeks to justify the killing of Irish citizens.”

The group said since the date for the march was announced they had been contacted by residents from all over Belfast wanting to register their feelings.

“In the context of continued denial of genuine justice for those who deserve it - the families of those murdered via state violence and British government endorsed collusion - it is a further proposed insult to those Belfast citizens who have suffered greatly at the hands of Britain’s occupation forces.

“As a result, Saoradh Béal Feirste will be organising a mass mobilisation to demonstrate local and national opposition to this charade that seeks to justify the killing of Irish Citizens. We shall assemble at the top of Castle Street, at exactly the same time as this pro-imperialist British army event, and make our way to Belfast City Hall.”

The statement added: “Saoradh Béal Feirste are providing a peaceful, radical and purposeful opportunity for the people of our city and further afield to resist this unwanted march by this part of Britain’s war machine.”

The Belfast veterans’ rally has been organised by the Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans group – calling on the government to end the “gross abuse and witch-hunts” in search of prosecutions arising from Troubles legacy cases.

Similar rallies are taking place in London and Glasgow on the same day.

The cancelled march in the city of Londonderry had been organised by the Justice for Veterans UK (JFVUK) – to take place on March 4 – but has now been switched to Coleraine on the same date. Organiser Anto Wickham said he had reluctantly cancelled the JFVUK event “to avoid others exploiting the situation to create community tensions or to engage in violence.”