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The Civil Rights Movement

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The Civil Rights Movement

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  1. The Civil Rights Movement • Catholics became to believe that only direct action would make the Unionist government give justice to the Catholic minority. • The civil rights movement grew out of this feeling.

  2. The Campaign for Social Justice • The civil rights movement started with protests about housing in Dungannon where Protestants were given priority. • Patricia and Conn McCluskey set up the Campaign for Social Justice in 1964. • They argued that if Northern Catholics were part of the United Kingdom they were entitled to the same rights as other UK citizens.

  3. Gerry Fitt and the Labour government • In London the Campaign for Social Justice had influenced members of the Labour government. • Gerry Fitt was elected as a Republican Labour MP for West Belfast. • This encouraged Labour MPs to ask why the British taxpayer should subsidise a government responsible for so many injustices.

  4. Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association • In 1967 Catholics set up NICRA. • It was a mixture of moderate nationalists like John Hume and more militant socialists and students like Bernadette Devlin. • ONE MAN ONE VOTE

  5. October 1968, Derry • In Derry a Housing Action Committee then persuaded NICRA to back its march on 5 October. • The march was banned from the centre of Derry by the Minister for Home Affairs, William Craig. • It went ahead anyway and a riot broke out between the RUC and the marchers. • These riots occurred during other marches too.

  6. 1969 • O’Neill appointed Judge Cameron to enquire into the causes of violence (Cameron report). • In protest, Faulkner resigned and twelve Unionist MPs called for O’Neill to go. O’Neill called an election. • 39 Unionist MPs were elected but only 27 backed O’Neill. Paisley almost defeated him in his own constituency. • Several members of the civil rights campaign won seats.

  7. O’Neill’s resignation • After the election, O’Neill agreed to accept one man one vote. • Violence ensued. • O’Neill resigned on 28 April 1969.