Battle for Bogside
The Battle of Bogside - riots in the city of Derry (Northern Ireland) between Catholics (nationalists) and Protestants (unionists) in 1969. One of the immediate causes of the conflict was the unjust housing policy of the government of Northern Ireland. Activists wanted to make a demonstration, but it was banned. The marchers ignored the ban and the police began to beat them. Cadres with the beating of the protesters were shown on television and caused outrage in nationalist circles.
In January 1968, a march was organized from Belfast to Derry. A fight broke out between Catholics and Protestants. The police dispersed the demonstrators, and at night they organized a pogrom in the Catholic area of Bogside and captured several activists. In response, Bogsayt blocked the barricades and was called the "Free District of Derry". There were a few more clashes with the police.
On August 12, Protestants held an annual parade to commemorate the victory of the Protestants during the siege of Derry in 1689 during the War of the Two Kings. As soon as the parade approached Bogsayd, the Catholics began to throw stones and nails, starting a mass brawl.The police, who suffered from the objects thrown at her, rushed to separate the fighting. Molotov cocktail bottles were thrown at them - as a result, 43 out of 59 police officers were injured. The created Free Derry radio station called on Catholics to civil disobedience.
By evening, the police, with the support of the Protestants, broke through the defenses of Catholics, but they gathered their forces and threw them away. In response, the police released tear gas, which led to the hospitalization of many people from poisoning.
The next day, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland made a televised address: “I could not stand and watch innocent people suffer. Perhaps something worse could happen to them. ” He promised to send Irish troops to the border and deploy field hospitals to assist the victims, and said he would seek the arrival of UN peacekeepers. In Bogside, the nationalists enthusiastically interpreted the words of the minister as a promise of military assistance. The unionists were shocked: it seemed to them that a military invasion was inevitable. In fact, the Irish troops really were only going to help the victims and not to cross the border.
Inspired by the willingness of the Irish Prime Minister to help the victims, the nationalists quickly began searching the houses and asking each other for bottles, rags and alcohol to make Molotov cocktails. Young people, women and children prepared to bomb policemen with stones and bottles from rooftops. Flags of Ireland appeared on the roofs of houses. All were instructed on how to deal with the use of tear gas by the police. Protests began in Belfast, Newry, Armagh, Lurgan, Dangviene and many other cities in Northern Ireland. The entire Irish community was mobilized.
After two days of riots in which the police in Northern Ireland were involved, fatigue began to affect law enforcement officers, and they were forced to spend the night in doorways. They could not physically defend themselves against the attacks of the nationalists: a small shield did not protect a person from being hit, and the clothes were not fireproof, so many policemen suffered from burns caused by explosions. The use of armored personnel carriers and small arms was strictly prohibited. In addition, there was no system for replacing the injured with new officers: some of them were forced to curb the unrest for all three days.
August 14 The Ulster Special Police, a paramilitary organization of 12 thousand people, consisting of Protestants, who did not have the experience and skills to act during riots, but was trained in the basics of military affairs and instilled fear and hatred in Catholics because involved in the massacres in the 1920s. The arrival of the Special Police caused a panic in Bogside due to a possible massacre.
The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland made an unexpected request to the British Prime Minister with a request to send troops to Derry. This was the first case of direct intervention by London in the affairs of Belfast since the separation of Ireland. Demoralized police were forced to move.
The British troops were greeted by the inhabitants of Bogside initially friendly as a neutral force that did not behave as harshly as the police.
More than a thousand people suffered as a result of the events in Bogside: fortunately, deaths were avoided. 691 police officers participated in the suppression of riots in Derry, of which 255 were in service as of August 15
The exact number of victims from civilians was not named,but most of the victims of hospitalization were refused because of their fear of the police, as a result of which many had to be transported beyond the British-Irish border.