Oh, internets. I spent today reading the report of the Bloody Sunday inquiry tribunal. The inquiry tribunal appointed by the British government. The same British government that signed the paychecks of the guys who opened fire on a bunch of teenagers who were running away.
I wouldn’t call myself a nationalist. I tend to be nauseatingly middle-of-the-road and my whole conflict resolution theory (for any conflict, really) is sit down and shut the hell up I will show you real problems.
However. I read the report. Granted, it’s only about 50 pages, but it took me a while because I had to stop occasionally a retch. I’ve watched all the BBC footage that the government has released. I read eyewitness reports compiled shortly after the event. And I must say that it seems pretty clear to me. None of the victims were shooting. No guns were found. No bombs were found. Some had gunpowder on their arms or around their wounds, but that would be pretty easily explained by BEING SHOT AT. And most of them were shot in the back, usually in a crouched position. Everyone agrees. Not a single civilian there (unionist or nationalist) said that they saw ANYONE with a gun.
The conclusion of the report reads, “there is no reason to believe that the soldiers opened fire first”. Really? Really? What, exactly, were all these teenage boys shooting at you with, huh? Because no guns were found on them. And there’s videotape. Videotape with crowds running away and people screaming at the soldiers to stop shooting. Yet, it’s all the Catholics’ fault?
Of course it is. My God.
However, at one point the guy writing the report was talking about how there was no way to tell which bullet came from which rifle, and I totally thought, “CSI could do it. If Grissom had been Derry in 1972, this would have all worked out much better and maybe the IRA wouldn’t have gained sympathy power.”
Yep. Conflict resolution. Totally my thing.