CIVIL RIGHTS MARCH, IN DERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND, 1968
was held on Wednesday 8 Oct. 2008, at Wood Green Social Club.
Pre-meeting notes were circulated as follows:-
On the afternoon of Saturday 5-10-68 a march was held in Derry (a.k.a. Londonderry) to demand an end to discrimination against Catholics in the matter of housing, jobs and the local government electoral system, and to protest against the state repression (Special Powers Act) in force in Northern Ireland. The allegedly illegal route was blocked by police, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, who after a stand-off charged the marchers with batons and drove them off the street, inflicting numerous injuries and finishing the job by bringing in water-cannon. This led not only to riots in the Bogside Catholic ghetto that night, but to a great deal of publicity; the presence of Labour MPs from Westminster and camera crews ensured that the event was headline news on TV and in the Sunday papers. This sort of thing might happen in Paris but wasn't supposed to be seen on the streets of cities in the UK; it was a wake-up call to the Wilson government which, the files show, realised that changes would have to be made to sort out the anomalous situation in the 'province'.
|Press coverage was extensive|
|Queen's University Belfast Student Newspaper|
|A later PD leaflet with cover photo|
of the sitdown in Linenhall St.
Reading list (selected - there's lots more on subsequent events, background etc.)
Paul Arthur, The People’s Democracy, 1968-1973. (1974)
Owen Dudley Edwards, The sins of our fathers : roots of conflict in Northern Ireland. Dublin : Gill & Macmillan, (1970)
and p.1: the Editorial condemns “the disgraceful record of both Irish governments”.