More than 10-thousand Catholic Civil Rights campaigners rallied in Belfast on Sunday afternoon (March 19) protesting against internment.
GV Marchers along road
SV Marchers carry banners
marchers, some carrying umbrellas
SV ZOOM IN Troops in armoured cars
GV PAN crowd in stadium PAN TO banner erected.
CV Two men carry another banner said to be from Long Kesh PAN TO crowd applauding.
SV Man playing bugle and flag raising
SV Soldiers near border warn group of demonstrators not to fill in holes
SV Troops fire gas shells
SV Demonstrators behind overturned cars.
SV Other demonstrators shovel earth under watched by troops
SV Soldier picks up loaded pistol and examines it
REPORTER: "Between ten and fifteen thousand civil rights demonstrators braved the steady downpour. The mood was surprisingly relaxed. It was a much less martial occasion than yesterday's Protestant rally. The one-mile march through the Catholic Andersonstown area ended in Casement Park... The marchers were protesting against internment but the march is also seen as a response to yesterday's Vanguard rally. Although the security forces were anxious to prevent any trouble the organisers also cooperated. There were five alternative routes, and the exact one was kept secret until the march started. Many of the demonstrators have relative in Long Kesh internment camp. At least 150 men from Andersonstown...are held there. A banner said to have been made by some of the internees and smuggled out of the camp gave the meeting its high point....
SOLIDER: "Do not try to fill in the hole or I will use gas....Fire....."
REPORTER: "As the gas drifted away they came in again. Stones and taunts were thrown back by the demonstrators, some whom were the traditional black IRA berets. Elsewhere another crowd had tried to fill in the road but had been dissuaded by a volley of tear gas and forced to a compromise when a Devon and Dorset sergeant allowed them to do some token shovelling as long as it wasn't into the crater. The Southern locals then responded--to the sergeant's surprise--by pointing out a loaded pistol lying on the bank. It was thought it must have been abandoned by one of the demonstrators."
Initials BB/0204 B???/AS/BB/0330
TELERECORDING original colour on 4079/72 83ft
This telerecording has natural sound throughout under the reporter's commentary. The atmosphere of the Catholic rally is vividly recorded. The second half of the film carries sound of the troops warning demonstrators and ordering gas to be fired. An alternative commentary is provided.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: More than 10-thousand Catholic Civil Rights campaigners rallied in Belfast on Sunday afternoon (March 19) protesting against internment. The march was also seen as a response to Saturday's (March 10) rally by more than 50-thousand Protestants, which aimed at warning the British Government against "unacceptable"policy changes in Northern Ireland.
The high point of the rally--which passed off peacefully--was the hoisting of a banner said to have been made by internees and smuggled out of Long Kesh internment camp.
Along the border with the Irish Republic groups of demonstrators who had crossed form the South were trying to fill in craters blasted out by British troops as a way of stopping groups of armed men crossing into the province.
British troops used tear gas against the demonstrators.
SYNOPSIS: Between ten and fifteen thousand Catholic Civil Rights demonstrators braved a steady downpour of rain in Belfast on Sunday to march in protest against internment. The mood of the marchers was relaxed. Their route lay one mile through the Catholic Andersonstown area, and brought the marchers finally to the rallying point in a stadium.
Security forces watched for signs of trouble, but the organisers co-operated with them fully. There were five possible routes and the exact one was kept secret till the march started. Although billed as a protest against internment the event was also seen as response to the mass Protestant rally held just the day before.
Many of the demonstrators have relatives in Long Kesh internment camp. A banner, said to have been made by internees there and smuggled out of the camp, gave the rally its high point...
As the rally went on groups from the Irish Republic ware crossing the border into Ulster intending to fill in roads cratered by the British troops...But British troops were patrolling the likely trouble spots ready for the demonstrators...
As the gas drifted away the demonstrators came in again. Stones were thrown at the troops....
Elsewhere another crowd had been persuaded not to fill in the road. A compromise was agreed when an army sergeant allowed the demonstrators to do some token shovelling--away from the crater.
To the solider's surprise the group form the Republic responded by pointing out a loaded pistol, apparently abandoned on the ground by one of the demonstrators.