Battle Of The Bogside
After months of attacks from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) & Loyalists since the civil rights campaign started in 1968, the people of the Bogside in Derry City set up the Derry Citizens Defence Association (DCDA).
They quickly set up barricades and other defences to protect the Bogside from more attacks which had resulted in many beatings and homes burned by the RUC.
On August 12th the Loyalist Apprentice Boys marched through Derry City very close to the Bogside, Loyalists began throwing pennies from Derry's walls into the Bogside, the youths in the Bogside and some not so young responded with firing marbles from slingshots.
When this progressed to nails & stones, the RUC moved in and attempted to breach the barricades into the Bogside with the help of Loyalists.
What ensued was two days of intense rioting with hundreds of people from the Bogside, other areas of Derry and further afield coming out to repel the RUC who had sent in reinforcements from all over the six counties.
The people of Derry used whatever they could to keep the police & Loyalists out using rocks, stones and petrol bombs to great effect.
The RUC responded with tear gas and called in the reservist police force called the B Specials who were even more sectarian than the RUC, this literally inflamed the situation even more as the rioting spread to other parts of the six counties especially in Belfast where a number of people were killed and hundreds of Nationalists were burnt out of their homes.
On August 14th the British Government decided to send the British army to Derry and then Belfast the next day, supposedly to protect the Nationalist community from RUC/Loyalist attacks called Operation Banner.
The majority of Nationalists welcomed the intervention of the British Army as they kept the RUC out, but the honeymoon period would not last long.