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13 June 1997 Edition

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Back issue: Derry opposes Jubilee

In order to celebrate the Queen's diamond jubilee anniversary all schools in Derry were ordered to close down for the day. This was reinforced by a statement from the DES stating that the holiday would be ``non-transferable'', attempting to ensure that Irish people would be forced to bend their knee to the English queen.

Although ``officially'' closed, some schools remained open as a protest against the dictatorial attitude of the British officials. As a show of solidarity with this protest all schools in the Republican areas of Derry were picketed by Sinn Féin and members of the Irish Front.

Also picketed were the parochial house in Pennyburn and the residence of the Bishop of Derry. All the anti-imperialist groups in Derry supported this action against ``psychological'' imperialism in forcing teachers, children and parents to celebrate 25 years of torture, intimidation and murder.

Today the British people are celebrating the anniversary of their queen. It is ironic that Irish people are commemorating another anniversary - that of Michael Gaughan who suffered and died in an English prison three years ago. It is also ironic that an Irishman will be spending this day and many other days in a Derry Hospital, disfigured and blinded for life by the Queen's representatives in Ireland.

As we are forced to remember this day by the English through their enforced closure of schools and administrative buildings let us remember what the Queen really represents in Ireland: repression, intimidation and murder. So as this day has been set aside for the English Queen let us not make it a joyous occasion but a day of mourning in memory of the evils that the British occupation of Ireland has created.

Republican News, 11 June 1977.



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