On Easter Monday in Derry City’s Creggan, a masked Republican colour party marched to the City Cemetary to commemorate our patriot dead on the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
All week, the Crown Forces had sent intimidating threats via intermediaries to Irish Republicans, boasting of how they would impose violence on anyone attempting to march in Creggan on Easter Monday.
All year, Crown force harassment and attacks have been on the increase in Republican Free Derry, stops and searches, house raids, and systematic state violence coupled with the continued deliberate British policy of economic stagnation and enforced poverty, continue to oppress the people of Derry and the North West.
As the march was preparing to take place, armoured convoys of Crown Forces entered the Creggan area, as the march took off supported by a large crowd the Crown Forces attempted to move in, the youth of Creggan engaged them with bricks, bottles and Molotov cocktails, driving them back from the Easter march.
If Britain had not deployed a heavily armed force in Creggan to impose their undemocratic will on the local people, then they would not have incited the response that took place. Much condemnation has been levelled at the youth of Creggan today, but where were those mealy-mouthed hypocrites and their condemnation when the same youth were being harassed with their parents as they travelled to and from school when they were dragged from their beds as the doors were being kicked in in the early hours of the morning, when the little possessions they had, phones, laptops, games consoles, some of which held their coursework for school was stolen by the state?
The backdrop to the Derry march was the attack on an Easter commemoration in Lurgan where an old woman was knocked senseless by a Crown Force assault on Republicans remembering their patriot dead, the feeling on the ground in Derry was that type of attack would not be tolerated.
After several skirmishes with the Crown Forces and the youth of Derry, the Parade made its way successfully to the City Cemetary Republican Plot where the main Easter commemoration was held.