March was “proof that the fight for equality and justice

Sinn Féin Councillor Martin Meehan has said that last week’s Civil Rights commemoration march in Derry is “proof that the fight for equality and justice carries on”.
Several hundred people gathered at Duke Street to finish the route of the original October 5 1968 march into Derry City Centre – a march that was attacked just yards after it started by the RUC.
As one of the few people arrested that day, Martin Meehan said that last weekend’s commemoration brought back a lot of memories.
Cllr Meehan found himself arrested and thrown into a police tender along with Martin Cowley, a journalist then working at the Derry Journal.
After being tossed into the tender a bloodied Martin Meehan was taken to Victoria Barracks, on Strand Road.
Thirty-six years on, Martin Meehan says that “although the nationalist people are up off their knees, there is a long way to go in terms of ensuring equality for all in society”.
“We have confidence now and can look anyone in the eye in the certainty that we will never be put down again.
“But there are still many in this society who are suffering and we have a duty to stand beside them, to support them and where necessary assist them to fight for their rights too.
“That is the case whether we are talking about ethnic minorities, gay people, the disabled, and many others affected by prejudice,” said Cllr Meehan.

Journalist:: Jarlath Kearney

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