By the Bloody Sunday March Committee
Crowds will assemble again at the Creggan shops on January 29th for the 51st annual Bloody Sunday march.
Back then, nobody expected that the trek towards the truth would take so long. But too late to stop now. We can’t leave the Bloody Sunday story unfinished.
If we were to do as we’re told and stop pushing for the full truth, Britain’s rulers would heave a huge sigh of relief, believing they’d gotten away with murder. We owe it to the victims, and to victims of imperialism everywhere, not to flinch or falter now.
It is not true that Bloody Sunday was perpetrated by an undisciplined, unrepresentative bunch of brutes in Parachute Regiment uniforms. The murder spree was ordered and orchestrated by the top brass of the British army in connivance with the Tory government of the day.
Nobody now would dare suggest that the massacre at Sétif and Guelma in Algeria in May 1945, or at My Lai in Vietnam in March 1968, or at Bucha in Ukraine in March last year, could be explained by reference to out-of-control members of the French or American or Russian armies.
In all these instances, as on Bloody Sunday, the men who pulled the triggers were doing what they’d been ordered to do by their political and military masters. The murders were done in service of the State.
This is the truth which history must be made to record. The British ruling class wants to tell the world that Bloody Sunday may have been a terrible event - but it’s all sorted now, no need to be rude to the Royals or their Empire anymore.
The Bloody Sunday March Committee takes a different view. We march for all those everywhere who have lost family and friends and had their children’s hopes of happiness shattered by the armoured cars and tanks and guns of imperial armies.
It would be putting it a bit strong to say that the truth will set us free. But without the truth about Bloody Sunday we will never be free of the terrible legacy the massacre left for Derry and the world.
* A calendar of events is taking place this week in Derry organised by the Blooody Sunday March committee. For more info visit www.bloodysundaymarch.org. The speakers at this year’s 51st anniversary rally will be Senator Eileen Flynn, Traveller, activist, and justice campaigner, and Catherine Glover, aunt of John Paul Wootton, one of the Craigavon 2. Assemble: Creggan Shops, Central Drive, Derry, Rally: Free Derry Wall, Bogside.