AN ESTIMATED 2,500 people marched through Manchester last Saturday in the annual Bloody Sunday commemoration, which marks the murder by British troops of 14 unarmed Irish demonstrators in January 1972. The march was enlivened by music from four republican pipe bands. However the mood was otherwise quite flat and it was noticeable that there were no new forces mobilised. Most faces were recognisable from previous years.
The chant of “Troops out now” is no longer a call for the expulsion of British imperialism, but a demand for a speedy peace settlement within the UK. As Sinn Fein leader Martin McGuiness said at the rally afterwards, “Repression and intimidation have had their day and Britain has no reason, nor any right, to delay a peaceful settlement between the people of Ireland.”
John Kelly, brother of one of those murdered, asked: “When will the British Government acknowledge the complete injustice of Bloody Sunday in Derry 23 years ago?”
The campaign to release Lee Clegg from jail indicates that the ruling class is not about to change its spots.