Lundy parade condemned
Lundy parade condemned


A number of inflammatory incidents has brought strong criticism of an agreement by which the huge annual ‘Lundy’ parade by the loyalist Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABOD) organisation takes place in the overwhelmingly nationalist city.

Footage emerged of an ABOD member shouting ‘up the UVF’ in support of loyalist paramilitaries, and in the presence of the PSNI, who have failed to take any action.

Some 25 loyalist flute bands took part last weekend in the coat-trailing celebration of a 17th century battle victory over Catholics. As usual, the parade culminated with the violent burning of an effigy of ‘traitor’ Robert Lundy.

A band openly linked to the paramilitary UDA took part, with the DUP MP Gregory Campbell seen parading along behind.

Other marchers were seen wearing badges in support of the Parachute Regiment, responsible for the Bloody Sunday massacre in the city, in which 14 civil rights demonstrators were killed.

Saoradh hit out at the situation.

“Every year, on a Saturday a few weeks before Christmas, Derry city centre is effectively shut down to placate this sectarian hatefest, which this so-called ‘loyal order’ calls culture,” they said.

“This so-called march is facilitated by Crown Forces, DCSDC, and the CCI while keeping the local residents out of the city centre and the few they do let in, are made to feel unwelcome in their home town.

“Even the neighbouring Bogside is saturated by Crown Forces to facilitate this hate fest.

“Any locals trying to enter the city centre wearing anything relating to the GAA or nationalist soccer teams, are physically stopped from entering, with the excuse of preventing a breach of the peace. Yet loyalists can enter our city with whatever loyalist garb festooned upon them and not a word is said.

“Likewise those loyalists who wear emblems supporting Soldier F, who murdered innocent civilians in Derry on Bloody Sunday, are allowed to walk freely.”

They contrasted the harassment of members of a republican memorial flute band by the PSNI in the city just two nights earlier.

“They were surrounded by Crown Forces, backed up by Armed Response personnel, numerous armoured cars and Land Rovers along with a drone taking videos and photos. All this to stop teenage band members having a team bonding walk in their own city, on a walkway next to the river, impeding and blocking no-one.

“Crown Forces threatened these young teenage boys and girls with prosecution for an illegal gathering or parade and told them to apply for permission to walk on a footpath in their own city, to the so-called parades commission.

“Not that anyone from our community needs reminding but, the differences between how Republicans and loyalists are treated is stark.

“Even our children can’t walk the footpaths of our home city but they are confronted by the heavily armed forces of the Six County State, yet loyalists can shut down Derry city centre weeks before Christmas with a sectarian hate fest march and glorify the UVF in front of Crown Forces and not a word is said, let alone the annual Soldier F and Para glorification that Derry is subjected to by these loyalist goons that are the Apprentice Boys.

“It is beyond time now that these sectarian hate fest parades, dressed up as cultural events, are made to feel unwelcome in our towns and cities. Locals should not be made to run the gauntlet of hate so these hate-fests can be facilitated.

“The indifference shown to Republicans, be they young or old, should be highlighted at every given opportunity, to remind these armed state militias, that they are not welcome in our communities either, regardless of what political Nationalism says.”

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