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Battle of the Bogside In August 1969, the district of Derry known as the Bogside remained highlighted around the world for 3 days due to the clash between the local residents and the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The conflict aroused when local residents protested against the RUC’s attempt to fissure barricades that they had erected in protection of the area. The RUC had had several clashes with local residents time after time in past 11 months since the Bogside residents had been opposing Northern Ireland Government and its representatives and were aligned behind the Civil rights Movement. The Battle of Bogside was the climax of Ulster’s civil rights movement and set off the dilemmas of Northern Ireland. The annual Apprentice Boys march on August 12, to remember the victory of Protestants in the 1689’s Siege of Derry had to be organized. The march of a huge number of Apprentice Boys along with their followers by way of Derry city center and past the verge of Bogside was being viewed quite provoking by city Nationalists. McCann, the Derry activist wrote in his book that the parade was considered as a deliberate insult to the Catholics of Derry (McCann 1993). In order to avoid clash among the locals, the RUC and the demonstrators, plans had been prepared. Moreover, a defense plan was also prepared in case the regular plans failed. Officials made several attempts to prevent potential confrontation. In this regard, the Derry Citizens Defense Association (DCDA); an association that was established in July 1969 to design a defense plan for the Bogside and that included senior republicans, had meetings with senior figures of Apprentice Boys Association to convince them to cancel or at least reroute the march. They refused the request. As the Apprentice Boys started off their march on August 12, the air was filled with tension and threat could be felt throughout the city. When the Apprentice Boys and their followers paraded past Waterloo Place on the verge of Bogside, the RUC men and Nationalist youths faced each other. It was the time when the Troubles broke out. In the beginning, the Bogsiders and the loyalists exchanged taunts followed by stoning. Wardens and Nationalist leaders tried to control the crowd but failed and confrontation escalated (McCann 1993). The mob turned out in the Bogside, stoned the cops and shelled petrol bombs. This was the time when the riots started to intensify. Local youths settled on the roof of Roosevelt Street’s High Flats for bombardment on the RUC with missiles. The RUC had no prior preparations for such battle. They were not equipped with defensive tools. In order to take the control of situation the RUC began using CS gas. This was the first time that such an undiscerning weapon was used in the jurisdiction of United Kingdom. Police from all over the Northern Ireland had been drawn up. On 13 August, Taoiseach Jack Lynch addressed about the Derry event and said that he was worried about the injury and sufferings of innocent people and hence he would send the Irish Army at the border which would set up field hospitals for those wounded in the battle (Ranelagh, 1994). The reaction to this pronouncement was mixed. Later that evening, the Unionist rioters attempted to burn down the City Hotel. By 14 August, the riots had turned even more horrific. The B- Specials, an ancillary, typically Protestant police, were assembled in the predominant Unionist area. In the evening the B-Specials mobilized to Waterloo Place, on the city wall and on the verge of Fountain. The RUC troops had started to withdraw as they had completely exhausted after 3 days’
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