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Families continue Bloody Sunday march for justice

Relatives of some of those killed on Bloody Sunday have formed a new committee to organise the continuation of the march in Londonderry.

The new committee said the march was being reinstated in 2013 to keep the pressure on to |secure prosecutions of soldiers and to give a voice to others fighting injustice.

Most of the families who marched for justice in the past have quit the annual event after the Saville Inquiry made clear those killed were innocent.

Prime Minister David Cameron subsequently apologised for the “indefensible” actions of the paratroopers, who shot dead 14 innocent people.

The march organisers gathered at Pilot’s Row in the Bogside yesterday alongside veteran activists of the Bloody Sunday campaign to launch the 41st anniversary |parade, which will take place on January 27.

Those involved said the march remained a vital element of bringing those responsible for the bloodshed to justice.

A programme of other events has also been organised on the theme of ending impunity, while controversial Brazilian-born artist Carlos Latuff has designed this year’s posters.

Speakers from the Hillsborough campaign and the Miners’ Strike 1984 will be in Derry for the |anniversary.

Campaigns for justice led by relatives of those killed in Ballymurphy and McGurk’s Bar will also be highlighted.

In a departure from previous campaigns, justice for victims of clerical sex abuse in Ireland will be a central plank of this year’s events.

March organisers have now |enlisted the help of former members of the Bloody Sunday Trust and other civil rights activists to form a committee to organise the 2013 event properly.

Kate and Linda Nash, whose teenage brother William was among those shot dead in the Bogside on January 30, 1972, and whose father was wounded, have been spearheading the campaign for the march to continue.

They were joined at the launch yesterday by Liam Wray, whose brother James was killed on Bloody Sunday, and Mickey Bridge, who was one of those shot and wounded.

The Nash sisters said the full aims of the Bloody Sunday campaign will never be fully met until the perpetrators were brought |before the courts.

Unveiling the large red ‘End Impunity’ banner, which will front the march, and announcing a new website, bloodysundaymarch.org, Kate Nash said: “We want to make the Government accountable for the fact that nobody has been brought to justice for the crime of Bloody Sunday and the crime of many other Bloody Sundays.”

Ms Nash played down suggestions of a rift having opened between the families over the march issue and said no one had asked them not to stage the event.

“We chat to the other families on an ongoing basis” she said. “We don’t generally talk about the march. We are very friendly with them, they know we are very approachable. We hope they approve of what we are doing.”

She added: “I would say to them, you are entitled, it is your democratic right to stop marching, as it is my democratic right to keep marching.”

The Nashes are joined on the new committee by local political activists Jim Keys, Jim Doherty, Stephen Gargan, John Black, Betty Doherty and Helen Deery, whose teenage brother Manus was shot dead by a soldier in the Bogside.

Mr Wray, who had made the call for people to come forward and help organise this year’s march, said he was delighted at the calibre of those involved.

The organisers have urged anyone who feels they have not received justice for their loves ones to join the march.

Belfast Telegraph