I found this video of a BBC Documentary when I was putting the video of the Ballymurphy Time for Truth march together. As my viddler account  got deleted, probably due to lack of attention from myself, all the links I had put up to the video had become obsolete. I have since found out, after opening another free account with viddler, that they only hold videos on their servers for 30 days. Now I don’t know if it means they are completely deleted or whether they stay on until some other files that users saved on the server are then written over your video files. Much like your hard drive doesn’t completely delete a file until it’s written over again unless you use software that completely wipes the files from your hard drive. Whatever the case it means I’ll have to keep going back and uploading the videos each month until I can find a more permanent solution. Youtube is out because you have to chop the video into 10 minute clips.

In fact, it very well may have been a youtube up-loader that I have to thank for this video because there are parts of the video that seem to lose a bit of sound and have distorted vision for a second, suggesting that I may have put the video together again after it had been chopped. Now I don’t remember where I got it for sure. I forgot I had it until this week. I thought all my videos lost when I had to re-install windows. I’ve only got the entire avi file so if I downloaded it from youtube there would be flv files of it lying around but there isn’t. Wherever I got it from, sincere apologies for forgetting about you, and if you know who you are then thanks.

There are many points in history where you can point to and say that is where this all started from. Then you can debate it till the cows come home but in the end, there are mostly more than one defining moment that leads us all to where we are. It’s almost always impossible to pinpoint an actual event in history that has been solely responsible for the following forty years of history. To me it is a mixture of actual events and the spirit of the time that pushes and pulls us all to the state of affairs that follow. History has a nasty habit of repeating itself too on account of the human race being slow learners. Genocide continues to occur, whether it’s called ethnic cleansing, or a war on terror, despite the warnings that fascism gave us in the early part of this century or the inquisitions of the early part of the 2nd millennium. This video re-affirms for me the belief I have always felt that the main cause in starting what became known as the “troubles” was fear and ignorance. All of the protagonists had a fear of the other due to ignorance. That allowed for things to develop the way they did. But ultimately, the unionist fears were that they would lose their status and that Catholics were just ready to reap bloody revenge from them at the first opportunity. The catholic and indigenous community feared that the unionist community was going to finish them off. The rhetoric from Ian Paisley and his Ulster Constitution Defence Committee was inflammatory and they had open links with Gusty Spence’s newly re-created UVF. They were set up three years before. Any observer would be forgiven for thinking the catholic and indigenous community were on the verge of being driven out of the orange statelet by any and all means necessary. For them, the fear was very, very real and tangible. For the unionist community the fears had already been shown up as based on false information and so now were irrational.

They initially had the unionist working class protestants believe that the IRA were planning an uprising in the run up to the 50th Anniversary of the Easter 1916 rising. They even had some conservative Catholics fearful of it. The fact that the IRA were nothing much more than a recreational club who studied politics and were heavily influenced by Marxism and who were positively against any kind of sectarianism or racism whatsoever, was lost on them. That fact only served to worry the already duped conservative Catholics more so. They had no arms to speak of and those that were hidden after the border campaign (1956-62), couldn’t be found because those that hid them had ether died since or had simply forgotten where they had stashed them. Any that could be found were in such a state of disrepair due to corrosion and neglect that they were useless. In total, they could only muster 3 hand guns and a Lee Enfield rifle. Besides, they didn’t want to get involved with a sectarian conflict so much that, they were reluctant to even involve themselves in defending catholic areas and communities during and after with the rioting that blew up all over the six counties in support of the bogsiders. This in turn led to graffiti appearing in catholic areas that read “IRA = I RAN AWAY”. In Belfast, loyalists burned out Bombay Street and 7 people were killed in rioting that had erupted there, to take the pressure off the bogsiders by dragging the RUC and the B-specials’ full attention away to stretch their resources.

This was all in response to a year of violence perpetrated by loyalists against the Civil Rights movement. It’s stressed that the Civil Rights Movement were campaigning for civil rights for all the six county citizens and not just  the Catholics. Evidenced by the presence in the movement of moderate protestants, such as Ivan Cooper the SDLP MP for Derry, as well as Catholics and non Christians. For the whole of 1968, the movement had been subject to harassment by the authorities, violent attacks from loyalists backed up by the B-specials and regular RUC, culminating in the attack at Burntollet Bridge (see google video), near the end of a civil rights march from Belfast to Derry that set out from Belfast on the 1st January 1969. If the catholic community or any independent observer were in any doubt about the legitimacy of the civil rights movement and the nefarious intentions of the Unionist community’s leaders and loyalists, then those doubts evaporated then.

So here’s the video of the Battle of the Bogside…

If the embedded video is missing, please contact me either through the comments or other means and, I will be able to fix it. Thanks.