Freedom News

Report: Derry Radical Bookfair and the Weekend of the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday

A dedication to the families of John “Jackie” Duddy, Michael Kelly, Hugh Gilmour, William Nash, John Young, Michael McDaid, Kevin McElhinney, James “Jim” Wray, William McKinney, Gerard “Gerry McKinney”, Gerard “Gerry” Donaghy, Patrick Doherty, Bernard “Barney” McGuigan & John Johnston. We are with you every step of the way in your fight to get at least some sort of justice.

Due to the uncertainty around the Omicron variant and coronavirus cases which have been quite bad here in London, we unfortunately had to make the decision not to have a delegation at the bookfair or memorial this weekend, prioritising the health & safety of our fellow comrades across Ireland & from England, Scotland, Wales & the rest of the world who did attend both events.

The people of Derry are very warm and friendly. Activism there is an example for all; there’s no silly politics, only intersectional grassroots work, solidarity there is at the heart of what people believe whether it’s standing up for Palestine, Rojava & Cuba or Grenfell, Hillsborough & Dale Farm – an injury to one is an injury to all. There is no dancing around what is an unwavering campaign for an end to injustice either in their own city & elsewhere in their country. Solidarity to all of the victims of Bloody Sunday.

I would like shout out all of the amazing individuals who made this happen weekend happen – both the Derry radical bookfair and Bloody Sunday memorial. Hopefully next time we are in a better position to be able to attend both events. If there is one piece of advice I can give, it is to pay attention to what these people (the organisers) do, they set high standards in their activism and campaigns to end injustice and suffering.

Once again, the bookfair took place at Pilot’s Row, a place right in the heart of the Bogside, one of the best locations, especially at this time of year. This was the 6th Derry Radical Bookfair and the first since toe global pandemic closed the majority of public gatherings. From accounts that our friends and comrades have been telling us, it was an absolute pleasure to be part of such a great event organised by people, whom have had the British state trying to break them and their people for their whole lives. Communities, which are pushed to the absolute limit by fascist imperialist powers, tend to mould great revolutionaries. Derry is no different in this regard.

This was fantastic, warm, inclusive and unapologetic anti-imperialism at its best and people turned up in their numbers. From 12pm-5pm, Pilot’s Row was full of people gathering together, networking, comrades meeting each other for the first time or seeing each other once again. There were many events going on throughout the day including bilingual talks in Irish and English, hosted by Misneach In Aimsir Na nÉigeandálaí, Dave Duggan as well as events in the English language hosted by Sarah Wilson & Eamon McCann – his book War and an Irish Town is a great read, thoroughly recommended.