Bogside bonfire: Republicans party and burn paratrooper effigy
The annual bonfire in Derry drew a crowd of thousands
Thousands of people descended on the Bogside for its annual bonfire on August 15.
Typically the fire commemorates a religious festival for the Catholic community but had additional significance this year, the 50th anniversary of a popular rebellion against sectarian policing - the Battle of the Bogside - and the upcoming trial of 'Soldier F.'
'F' was a paratrooper in the British Army and is charged with murdering two unarmed civilians on Bloody Sunday.
The controversial Bogside bonfire this afternoon. The fire will be lit tonight after 9pm. There’s a lively Feile family fun day taking place just yards from this site #Derry. pic.twitter.com/NJWF0XJhh7
— Leona O'Neill (@LeonaONeill1) August 15, 2019
The Bogside bonfire was mainly constructed out of pallets by local young people but on the day professional signs materialised on the site reading "Free Derry says no to state terrorism" and bearing the Parachute Regiment emblem. Another carried the simple slogan "Fuck Soldier F."
JOE spoke to attendees about the day's symbolism, celebrations and significance to the Bogside, who explained the reasoning behind their tradition.
“They burn our flags we burn theirs.”
Last night in Derry’s Bogside a large bonfire covered with Parachute Regiment and Soldier F banners was burned. pic.twitter.com/onm0mJlvuR
— PoliticsJOE (@PoliticsJOE_UK) August 16, 2019