The official introduction and programme for the week of events in Derry culminating in the annual march to commemorate the Bloody Sunday massacre.
Bloody Sunday was a local event. All of the 28 dead and wounded came from the general Bogside/Creggan quarter of Derry, population around 35,000. There was no one in the area who didn’t know the family of at least one of the victims. The massacre was experienced as a communal wound, the pain of which still throbs and won’t ease until all of the families can feel that truth has been told and justice done.
It is this which, 46 years later, drives the annual commemoration.
Bloody Sunday differs from the other massacres in the North which stand like grave-stones marking the passing of the years of conflict. The killing took place in bright daylight, watched at close quarters by hundreds of local people who had earlier marched for civil rights, stunned by horror, outrage and grief inflicted by men uniformed to represent the British State.
Bloody Sunday cannot be put down to ancient Irish hatreds. It was rooted in imperial history, in the scorn of Empire for the lives of plain people and the ferocious rage of the ruling class at any uprising of the lower orders. Hence the Tory Government’s sigh of relief in 2010 when the Inquiry under Lord Saville pointed the finger of blame at a bunch of squaddies and one undisciplined officer.
Parties jostling for political advantage and wishing the issue over and done with embraced Saville’s conclusions as full and final. Families of victims of State violence around the world will recognise the pattern.
We want the shooters charged and tried - and the politicians and top brass who gave the go-ahead brought to book.
We stand in solidarity with all who face lies and intimidation from the State and its propagandists as they continue the trek towards truth. Ballymurphy, Kingsmills, Loughinisland. Birmingham. Black Lives Matter, Grenfell Tower. Syria, Yemen, Kenya. And, always, Palestine.
We owe it to all who yearn for justice not to weaken now, and we won’t.
One world, one struggle. We shall Overcome.
MON 22ND JAN 2018
7.30pm: Panel Discussion - Imprisonment without Trial.
This event will explore the corruption of democracy in Ireland, Catalonia, and Palestine, by the use of various forms of imprisonment without trial. Speakers include: Francie McGuiggan, former Long Kesh internee and one of ‘The Hooded Men’, Omar Merino Catalonian activist, Fadl Mustapha Palestinian activist
Chair: Francie McGuiggan Venue: Corned Beef Tin
TUE 23RD JAN 2018
7.30pm: Panel Discussion - Fools Gold
This event will explore the toxic nature of development the will unfold if not resisted. A 12 million pound factory farm, over 80,000 pigs and 20,000 tonnes of slurry/annum. Gold mining,tonnes ofhazardous dust 24/7 for 25 years. Speakers Include: Fidelma O’Kane, Save Our Sperrins and James Orr, Dir Friends of the Earth NI. Chair: Judi Logue (ZWNW) Venue: The City Hotel
WED 24TH JAN 2018
7.30pm: Open Forum Discussion - Brutal Justice: The Community’s Views
This ‘open mic’ event will explore the views of local people on the issues of anti social behaviour and ‘community justice’ in the form of “punishment” beatings and expulsions by groups and organisations who claim to be acting for and on behalf of “the community” in pursuit of justice.
William Allen, journalist, Shaun Roddy, lecturer in social work, John Lindsay, writer & campaigner, Deaglan O Donghaile, lecturer and writer
Chair: Jim Keys (BSMC) Venue: Playhouse, Artillery Street.
THUR 25TH JAN 2018
7.30pm: Panel Discussion - The Past Is Present
We are honoured to be co- hosting this legacy of the conflict event with the Truth &ReconciliationPlatform. It will consist of a series of testimonies from the
victims / survivors including: Stephen Travers survivor of the UVF’s Miami Showband Massacre (1975), Eugene Reavey whose three brothers were also killed by the UVF (1976), Alan McBride who lost his wife Sharon in the IRA’s Shankill bomb (1993), and Ann Morgan sister of Seamus
Ruddy (one of ‘The Disappeared’) who was shot and killed by the INLA. Chair: Goretti Horgan Venue: City Hotel
FRI 26TH JAN 2018
1pm: Book Launch - In The Name Of The Son
The lunchtime Derry launch of former hunger striker Richard O’Rawe’s new book ‘In The Name Of The Son’ , which is about the late Gerry Conlon.
Chair: Betty Doherty (BSMC) Venue: The Central Library
7.30pm: Public Lecture - Yanis Varoufakis
Bloody Sunday, Brexit & The Democratic Process Yanis Varoufakis is the former Greek Finance Minister who resigned when his Syriza government capitulated to EU demands. In 2016 he launched the democracy in Europe 2025 movement (DiEM 25). An acclaimed writer and economist, his lecture will will link ‘Brexit’, the democratic process and the lessons to be drawn from Bloody Sunday, for the future we are facing into. It will be followed by an ‘In Conversation’ with Bernadette McAliskey before opening to a Q & A with the assemble audience. Host: Bernadette McAliskey Venue: The Guildhall
SAT 27TH JAN 2018
12 to 5pm: Radical Book Fair - Stalls & Talks
Due to the outstanding success of Derry’s first ever Radical Book Fair last year, this will now be an annual event in the programme. Venue: Big Hall, Pilots Row Community Centre
12 noon: Panel Discussion - Due Process & Accountability?
Why, 20 years on after the signing of Good Friday agreement do relatives of victims of the conflict continue to demand due process and accountability in pursuit of justice for their murdered loved ones?
Why, rather seeing British Paratroopers standing in the dock for their role in the events of Bloody Sunday must the relatives of the dead suffer the procrastination of the legal process without any perceivable end insight? And why in the case of the Loughinisland massacre where the Ombudsman’s report found there was collusion, do we now see the state seeking to overturn that decision in favour of an appeal taken by former members of the RUC’s Special Branch?
Speakers include: Professor Patrick Murphy, Irish News columnist,
Denis Bradley, Co Chair of the Consultative Group on the Past, Eamonn McCann, Journalist, activist & long-time campaigner for justice for Bloody Sunday, Peter Corrigan, Solicitor KRW Law, Belfast
Chair: Bernadette McAliskey Venue: Pilots Row Community Centre
3pm: Open Forum Discussion - The State We’re In
Fifty years after the Duke Street march was battered off the street this event will explore the state of civil rights today. It will do this through contributions from a number of invited speakers: Joe Delaney, Grenfell Action Group, London, Dean Scurry & Dave Gibney, HomeSweetHome, Dublin, Sean Brady, PPR, Belfast, Fiona Gallagher, Nurse & Trade Union Activist, Derry, Rosie Barrett, Activist for health rights of disabled children, Derry,andRonanMoyne, Welfare Rights Worker, Derry.
Chair: Jim Keys Venue: Pilots Row Community Centre
7.30pm: Panel Discussion - We Shall Overcome (The Patronising Disposition Of Unaccountable Power) Communities throughout Ireland and the UK are faced with the triple evils of
Injustice, Inequality and Poverty with the ‘victories’ of seminal campaigns (Bloody Sunday, Hillsborough & Stephen Lawrence) that sought to hold the state to account, having little impact on radically addressing that triad. This session is an opportunity to explore our various campaigns together to prepare for the challenges ahead. Speakers include: Becky Shah, Hillsborough Justice Campaign, Joe Delaney, Justice4Grenfell, Suresh Grover, The Monitoring Group and Liam Wray whose brother Jim was murdered on Bloody Sunday.
Chair: Stafford Scott Venue: Pilots Row Community Centre Sat
SUN 28TH JAN 2018
2.30pm: March And Rally - We Shall Overcome
We are honoured that the speakers at this year’s rally will be Eileen McKeown, Ballymurphy Massacre Campaign, daughter of Joseph Corr murdered by paratroopers & Joe Delaney of Justice for Grenfell, who lost friends & neighbours.
More details available online at BloodySundayMarch.org