Civil rights march of January 1969 left a trail of hatred

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Your correspondent, writing about the NI Civil Rights Association and the Troubles (‘Civil rights was purloined to justify terror campaign,’ August 4), has possibly forgotten the words of Ivan Cooper, a major figure in the Civil Rights Association:

‘All our demands were met by Christmas 1968’ (except the ‘B’ Specials and Special Powers Act, which went subsequently).

So why did we have thirty-plus years of horror?

Just as the 1968 reforms began, enter the students of Queen’s in the form of the People’s Democracy — the clue is in the Marxist-Leninist name.

Their ‘Long March’ (why leave out Mao?) of January ‘69, left a trail of hatred from which we still have not recovered.

Reform might have been the earnest aim of the NICRA, but to the People’s Democracy, it was the enemy.

Their aim was insurrection, by provoking the state into over-reaction; and boy, did they succeed.

J. Charles Teggart, Bangor