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THOUSANDS will take to the streets of Belfast on Sunday demanding truth and justice after the continued failure of the British state to investigate historical crimes in the north of Ireland.
Families of those killed by British soldiers in the 1971 Ballymurphy massacre will be among those at the second Time for Truth march in Belfast’s city centre as they continue their decades-long quest for justice.
Organisers made clear that the march is open to all who lost loved ones during the Troubles period, whatever the circumstances of their deaths.
A spokesman for the campaign said they were “bound together in a common bond in having lost fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters murdered at the hands of the British state and unionist murder gangs.
“We will take to the streets to demand truth and justice in the memory of those who cannot speak for themselves and those left behind and ignored for decades.”
The march will gather at 12pm at the site of the McGurk’s Bar bombing memorial. It was there that, in December 1971, 15 men, women and children were killed as a bomb planted by the Ulster Volunteer Forces (UVF) exploded in a family-run pub in north Belfast.
Campaigners insist that the McGurk’s bombing was Britain’s declaration of a “dirty war” with allegations of collusion with loyalist death squads in the attack and subsequent killings during the Troubles period.
Details of murky links between the British state and loyalist gangs have been exposed in a number of recent films, including a Netflix documentary alleging its involvement in the murder of members of the Miami Showband.
Relatives of those killed during the Troubles are pressing for the 2014 Stormont House Agreement legacy mechanisms to be implemented and resourced “in a human rights compliant manner.”
Time for Truth spokesman Ciaran MacAirt warned that the British state has blocked or underfunded avenues for those seeking truth and justice.
“Some of our families have been fighting for nearly half a century for a proper investigation or inquest into the death of loved ones,” he said.
Writing ahead of Sunday’s march Seamus Finucane, brother of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane who was shot dead in his home by loyalist paramilitaries, said: “Truth belongs to all of those affected by the conflict but it does not stop there.
“There is no indivisible line between the relatives who lost loved ones and the rest of Irish society.”
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