‘Paras Fight Back’ veterans’ rally for Belfast city centre
A rally in support of military veterans facing prosecution over Troubles-era incidents has been organised for Belfast city centre next month.
The protest has been organised as a joint venture between the Paras Fight Back group and the NI Crown Forces Veterans for Justice (NICFV).
An online poster advertising the event states: “We demand that the British government enact protective legislation, to safeguard British military and police personnel, whilst they are engaged in the defence of our country and its people. This must cover past, present and future deployments.”
It goes on to say: “We also demand that the British government rescind the findings of the discredited [Bloody Sunday] Saville Inquiry, and the apologies made by politicians, which were not made in our name.”
A NICFV spokeswoman told the News Letter that “enough is enough” and that hundreds of veterans are expected to support the protest.
“It’s not just about the ‘Soldier F’ case from Bloody Sunday – there are five veterans currently facing charges and many, many more on the way,” she said.
“And then with the HIU [Historical Inquiries Unit] they will be going after the RUC. The pressure needs to be kept on. We hold our politicians responsible and definitely the British government,” the spokeswoman added.
Earlier this month the PPS announced that former paratrooper ‘Soldier F’ will stand trial for murder in relation to two of the 13 deaths in January 1972 on what became known as Bloody Sunday.
The rally will take place outside Belfast City Hall on Saturday, April 27 at midday.
Derry City & Strabane District Council is this week expected to pass a motion expressing disappointment that the PPS is prosecuting only one soldier in relation to the Bloody Sunday deaths.
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein has condemned those who have erected Parachute Regiment flags in Cookstown.
Councillor John McNamee said: “The flags I have seen have the message ‘Londonderry 1972 No Surrender’ emblazoned on them which is an obvious reference to the Bloody Sunday massacre carried out by the Parachute Regiment in Derry.
“This is a deliberate act to cause further trauma and distress to the families.”