Bloody Sunday is unfinished business.
The Inquiry Report published in 2010 met some but by no means all the demands of the campaign for truth and justice.
The Inquiry found that all of the dead and wounded had been unlawfully shot. But the key demand for prosecution of the perpetrators continues to be thwarted at every turn.
The Report left a shadow over Gerald Donaghey, murdered at Abbey Park - while exonerating the senior politicians and military top brass who had sent his killers into the Bogside. This is a disgrace and an insult to Gerald’s relatives.
The commemorative programme for 2016 reflects the diversity of those whose experiences we share: we march for the families of the Ballymurphy massacre and for the victims of the paratroopers’ killing on the Shankhill - as well as for the families of the hundreds across the North killed directly by the State or through collusion.
Bloody Sunday is emblematic, too, of much of the horror happening around the world. The Derry massacre has this in common with atrocities everywhere: that it was perpetrated with malice aforethought by men uniformed to represent a State which declares itself democratic and claims commitment to human rights. There are Bloody Sundays somewhere every day of the week. We remember all those victims also on the annual march.
This year’s programme also reflects the diversity of those whose experiences we share. We will hear from victims of police racism in Britain; from the environmentalists infiltrated and abused by undercover London police; from Dublin TD Clare Daly on political policing of Shannon airport and anti-water charges campaigners and from many other victims of State oppression.
Cultural events will include a new play at the Playhouse, “Hairy Jesus”, by award-winning writer and actor Donal O’Kelly, the Irish premier of the “Hard Stop”, a new documentary on the killing of Mark Duggan in London in 2011 and the launch of new book at the Culturelann, “The Media and Bloody Sunday”, by two Ulster University academics.
Bloody Sunday was a murderous assault on the people of the Bogside. But it didn’t arise from antagonism between “the two communities.” It was a crime planned in advance and condoned in the aftermath by representatives of the British ruling class.
The campaign for the full truth has lasted for 44 years. We will continue along the path, sustained by the knowledge that we are accompanied every step of the way by many who, even in far distant places of which we know little, add their voices to ours, as we echo theirs, in calling for justice for all.
Full Programme of Events, 25th-31st January
Mon 25th Jan 2016
7.30pm: Ardoyne - Exhibition Launch
Exhibition by photographer Joe Gilmartin exploring life in Ardoyne and North Belfast over recent years and the experiences of its residents in their daily struggle against state control, sectarianism and marginalisation.
Ardoyne residents will be in attendance to launch the exhibition. It runs until the 31st Jan.
Venue: Eden Place Arts Centre
Tues 26th Jan 2016
7.30pm: This Changes Everything - Film & Discussion
This documentary’s message: the earth will survive, but this may be the last century in which it is habitable for human kind.
Based on Naomi Klein’s book of the same name, it argues that we can seize the crisis as an opportunity to transform our failed economic system!
James Orr, of Friends of The Earth NI, will be part of the Q&A drawing out the significance for us and some of the key sites of struggle for climate justice here.
Venue: Nerve Centre Admission 3 pounds
Wed 27th Jan 2016
4.30pm: The British Media And Bloody Sunday - Book Launch
This book by Greg McLaughlin & Stephen Baker is a cross media analysis of Bloody Sunday and its legacy identifying two impulses in its media coverage: an urge to rescue the reputation of the British Army vs Britain’s troubled conscience.
To be launched by Prof. Martin McLoone, and Eamonn McCann. Venue: Culturlann Panel
7.30pm: Refugee - Film and Discussion
Screening of short film, Reunited Lives’, on refugees from the north going south in the early 70’s followed by discussion on the current crisis where, with the exception of Germany, Europe is turning its back on the plight of refugees fleeing war it is complicit in.
Briege Voyle (featured in the film), Agim Kryeziu a refugee from Kosova living here some twenty years, Aza Ali Ahmad from Mosul northern Iraq recently arrived, Eamonn McCann activist and journalist. Chair: Bernadette McAliskey. Venue: Nerve Centre
Thur 28 Jan 2016
7.30pm: The State We’re In - Panel Discussion
2016 marks the centenary year of the Easter rising in Dublin, this event will explore where Irish society now finds itself when set against the aspirations and avowed ideals of that time. Speakers:
Patrick Murphy, Irish News columnist, will offer his own inimitable take on the subject while journalist
Chris Moore will approach the subject through the lens of the Kincora scandal contrasting it with the ideal of “cherishing all of the children of the nation equally”
Geraldine Dunne, Dublin Southside Travellers Action Group, will speak from a traveller perspective on her community’s place in modern Ireland.
Chair: Paul McFadden Venue: Nerve Centre
Fri 29 Jan 2016
1.00pm: Shannon Airport & 21st Century War - Book Launch
John Lannon will launch this important publication he co-edited with Roger Cole. It chronicles the Irish government’s shameful misuse of the civil airport at Shannon, allowing it to be treated as a forward operating base for the US Military and CIA!
Venue: Central Library
8pm: Hairy Jaysus - Drama
Award-winning playwright & actor Donal O’Kelly’s solo play about pacifist, feminist and socialist Frank Sheehy- Skeffington, shot dead in Portobello Barracks, 26th April, 1916. Told through the eyes of a Dublin street beggar today.
Dubbed “Hairy Jaysus” by his friend James Joyce, Sean O’Casey said that Sheehy-Skeffington was, “the soul of revolt against man’s inhumanity to man, the ripest ear of corn that fell in Easter Week”.
Venue: Playhouse, Admission 8 pounds (6 concession)
Sat 30 Jan 2016
12.00pm: The Whole Truth - Panel Discussion
Where to now for truth and justice for murders legitimised by the state?
The experiences of three women seeking redress for the murder of their loved ones:
Kate Nash sister of William murdered by the British Army on Bloody Sunday, Janet Donnelly daughter of Joseph Murphy murdered by the British Army in the Ballymurphy massacre and Shauna Moreland daughter of Caroline Moreland murdered by the IRA, under the direction of British agent, ‘Stakeknife’.
Chair: Eamonn McCann. Venue: Pilots Row
2.30pm: Out of the Shadows - Panel Discussion
A discussion exploring the state’s coercive methods of control through its police, army and secret organisations: Is Britain using strategies developed in the north against Black and Asian communities in English inner cites? Looking south, ‘political policing’ by the Garda is overtly used to suppress anti-water charges protests. Is this to be the new norm?
Prof. Mark McGovern, (Sociology) of Edge Hill University Liverpool his research is in human rights, state violence and transitional justice;
Suresh Grover, Director and cofounder of London based ‘Monitoring Group’, who works supporting those experiencing racial prejudice and violence;
Aidan Ferguson, Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) work to oppose: sectarian marches, militarised curfews and advocate on behalf of the community;
Helen Steel, one of seven women who sued English police after being deceived into relationships with undercover policemen infiltrating environmental and social justice movements and
Clare Daly, TD for North Dublin, founding member of the United Left Alliance who has been recently instrumental in exposing malpractice within the south’s Garda Siochana
Venue: Pilots Row
7.30pm: The Hard Stop - Film and Discussion
The Irish Premier of George Amponsah’s new film exploring the life and death of Mark Duggan. Shot by armed police in London, on 4th Aug 2011, his death sparked riots in London and other English cities. George Amponsah and the film’s two main protagonists Marcus Knox-Hooke and Curtis Henville will attend the post screening Q & A.
Venue: Nerve Centre Admission 3 pounds
Lunch will be available In Pilot’s Row on the Saturday
Sun 31 Jan 2016
2.30pm: The March and Rally
Writer, journalist and political activist Eamonn McCann will be the main speaker addressing the rally at this year’s Bloody Sunday March For Justice.
Venue: Creggan Shops to Guildhall Square
More details of events are available online at: BloodySundayMarch.org