Ignoring John Hume's appeal to ``keep off the streets'', ten
thousand very angry Derry citizens poured into the Bogside on
Sunday night to march on the RUC Barracks in Strand Road. Anger
almost too deep for words swept the city after people saw the
humiliation of their nationalist neighbours in Garvaghy Road - by
the RUC, by Mo Mowlam and by Britain's Labour administration.
Donncha MacNiallais, Bogside Residents Group spokesperson,
recalled events lasy year: ``Those scenes of brutality, and the
violence that preceded and followed them, shocked people out of
any sense of complacency. Nationalist Ireland was united in its
opposition. It could never happen again, we were told. It must
never happen again. With this year's marching season upon us,
once again we were facing the same issues and problems. The
election of a Labour government was hailed in some quarters as a
ray of hope amidst the gloom. Tony Blair wasn't dependent on
Unionist votes. Mo Mowlam wasn't an arrogant colonial blimp like
Paddy Mayhew. Everyone agreed that things had to change.
nationalist Ireland watched, waited, and hoped for change.
``Instead, we are undergoing the annual nationalist experience of
watching a British government folding under the threat of
Last year Garvaghy Road residents were beaten into the ground in
broad daylight. Today they were attacked in the dead of night.
It's a clear message from the British government: unionist
violence or the threat of it will dictate political response.
``Ronnie Flanagan, of the same RUC incapable of ensuring a safe
passage of the worshippers of Harryville, tells us ``I did it for
``It's a case of New Labour, old habits. Portadown's Orangemen
were prepared to reduce the 6 Cos to anarchy and Mo Mowlam
Martin McGuinness put it bluntly: ``Tony Blair failed his first
test in Ireland.'' Referring to John Hume's plea for people to
stay off the streets, he said, ``All over the world, in Nicaragua,
Chile, El Salvador, South Africa, to Palestine, the message is
clear: the only place to be when demanding justice and equality
is on the streets, confronting your opponent.''
The massive crowd, including many young people and the
middle-aged, returned to the Bogside in a peaceful and