The organisers of a Bloody Sunday commemoration march in Derry this Sunday say the anniversary should continue to be an “iconic day” for public demonstration.
Most of the families of the 14 people who were killed on January 30, 1972 say they won’t be on the ‘March for Justice’ which will take place over the traditional Bloody Sunday route, leaving the Creggan Shops at 2.30 p.m.
However, the organisers of the 40th anniversary demonstration - who include relatives of those killed and some of those wounded - say the “time for protest is not over.”
In a letter in today’s ‘Journal’, the march organisers defend their decision to stage the event.
In their statement, they say: “It has been suggested that a March for Justice could be held and supported by all - but not on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday. As those who were wounded on that day and as relatives of those who died, we are at a loss as to why the anniversary of a massacre - which has come to symbolise the murderous involvement of Britain in our land - should not continue to be an iconic day for the public demonstration of our continuing call for justice.”
The organisers’ statement adds: “While the focus of the yearly march has been for truth about the shootings and justice for the victims, the cause for which they fell has always been core to our hearts. The demands of the marchers in 1972... are as relevant today as they were then.”
The organisers say “outstanding issues” relating to the actual events of Bloody Sunday remain unresolved.
“Issues such as the lies about Gerald Donaghy, no prosecutions, the need to publicly address the lies in the Widgery Report, the withdrawal of medals and honours awarded to the military for services rendered to the crown on that day remain contentious and need to be addressed.”
The march organisers say that, while they fully respect the views of those who feel the Saville Inquiry has met their own personal needs, they are of the opinion that the “time for protest is not over.”
See page 34 for full text of march organisers’ letter.