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Republicans gather in Manchester to remember Bloody Sunday

Republicans and anti-fascists from across Manchester gathered to remember those 14 Irish martyrs who gave their lives in defence of their communities on Bloody Sunday, the 30th of January 1972.

On that day, British crown forces attacked a peaceful civil rights demonstration in the city of Derry in the occupied north of Ireland. Many of those killed were shot in the back as they fled the soldiers from the “1st Para” Battalion. Some were shot whilst trying to help the wounded. Others were wounded by shrapnel and rubber bullets, and two were even run down by British Army vehicles used as weapons.

The 1998 Saville enquiry, not released to the public until 2010, concluded that all of those killed were unarmed, and that their killings were “unjustified” and “unjustifiable”.

This orgy of unprovoked violence cannot be justified, even by the agents of the British state that committed it. It remains the single most brutal example of the measures used to subdue republicanism in the north, and it illustrates just how little the British state values the right to peaceful protest and self determination.

In the memory of the martyrs of Bloody Sunday, we stand in solidarity with all those who have lost friends, comrades and loved ones in the fight against British imperialism. We stand with those who continue to resist the remnants of British rule in Ireland, and we stand with all those around the globe in the fight against fascism, capitalism and imperialism.

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