On this day In 1971, Stormont, under the 1922 Special Powers Act, authorised the internment of large of numbers of people, pulled from their homes, in the small hours of the morning by armed police and military.
The mass civil resistance to internment, which included a six-county wide Rent and Rates strike, marches, demonstrations, sit-ins and take-overs of public spaces culminated in 30,000 people from across the North gathering in the Creggan, Derry on the morning of January 29th 1972 to Derry Guildhall for an anti-interment rally. This was Bloody Sunday.
47 years later, internment without trial remains with us; the legal authority to deprive people of their liberty at will, without explanation or evidence, remains on the statute books and life North of Ireland continues to be defined within the parameters of National Security first and Human Rights far behind. The State continues to act with impunity while avoiding any responsibility or accountability for the murder of those attending the Anti-Internment rally in January 1972.
From Long Kesh to Maghaberry, Guantanamo to Gaza, from Direct Provision to Trump’s internment of children seeking protection from war, the cry for justice remains valid and unsilenced.
Bloody Sunday March Committee will continue to hear and amplify that universal cry for liberty and justice. We will never accept that some violations of justice, liberty and human rights ought not to be our business.On this day we recommit or solidarity with all victims of injustice. We demand an end to internment, to the abuse of law, to the use of torture, to direct Provision and incarceration of refugees and asylum seekers. One World, One Humanity. One Struggle.