Bloody Sunday March for Justice: An Injustice To One Is An Injustice To All!
Thousands marched through the streets of Derry, Ireland on Sunday marking the annual Bloody Sunday massacre. A tragedy which took place in the Bogside area of the city 51 years ago this year.
A horrific event which has not just impacted upon the lives of those murdered or injured a day, but also upon the population of Derry itself. Undoubtedly, Sunday 30th January 1972, is a date forever etched on the minds and lives of those from the city.
A day when the notorious first battalion of the British Parachute Regiment were let loose by their masters and the British establishment on an outlawed, unarmed civil rights demonstration in Derry. A deliberate action by the state that resulted in thirteen people murdered and seventeen wounded, another was to die as a result of their wounds. The majority of whom were members of the local trade union movement.
The legacy of that faithful day was prominent in the minds of those in attendance as the March for Justice set off in the Creggan area with a leading banner that read 'an injustice to one is an injustice to all'. The march, as it always has done, travelled the same route as the original Civil Rights march of 1972. Attended by a series of community and social justice groups, along with trade unions, political organisations and the non-aligned members of the public. It made its way through the Creggan estate to a planned rally in the Bogside with the relatives of those murdered and injured, who still continue their march for justice.
Expressing their support and solidarity, local members of the Industrial Workers of the World in Derry were joined by fellow workers from across different parts of country as well as England. They took their place behind the family of miscarriage of justice prisoner and fellow worker, whose banner demanded the immediate release of both John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville, together known as the Craigavon Two.
For many this annual commemorative event is seen as a focal point to help raise awareness or give a platform to countless of other social justice campaigns. Following the initial Bloody Sunday relatives have supported many national and international campaigns for justice.
During what was a very wet and windy afternoon in Derry, a spokesperson for the IWW Ireland said of the event "As a union our members are here, as they are every year, to give our solidarity with the families of those murdered and injured, who continue to march for justice for what happened here on these streets. As a revolutionary union our members feel that it is important for us to show our support for the families of Bloody Sunday who continue to march for justice. We are here knowing we stand with other unions and trade union activists, and thousands of others as you can see, and together we remember all those killed on Bloody Sunday and to demand justice on the streets.
“We are here as it is important for us to highlight that the majority of those murdered by the state on Bloody Sunday were members of the local union movement in Derry. Innocent and unarmed civilians executed for standing up for their civil rights. On a day such as today we remember the IWW slogan written on our banner that says: ‘an injury to one, is an injury to all’. As revolutionary syndicalists, there are no grey areas, there are no ‘if’s of buts’ when it comes to such a slogan or our demands.”
At the rally as the marched reached the iconic Free Derry Wall, Rhea Glover, the cousin of fellow worker and political prisoner John Paul Wootton, took to the stage with relatives of the Bloody Sunday families who read a statement out on his behalf. As the march ended, those in attendance were reminded that the March for Justice will continue for the families of Bloody Sunday and the Craigavon Two.