Black day in Derry

On January 30, 1972, the Civil Rights Association of Derry organized what was meant to be a peaceful march protesting the British violation of civil liberties in Northern Ireland. The protest was led by Parliament member Ivan Cooper, who wanted the march not only to express nationalist feelings but to prove to England that those sentiments could be expressed without bloodshed. (He was an admirer of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. He was also a Protestant, though most of the marchers were Catholic.) This wasn't an easy stance: it challenged not only the contempt of the British military, for whom any demonstrating Cath­olic was a hooligan, but also the view of the IRA and its sympathizers that peaceful resistance was useless.


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