Former People Before Profit MP Foyle and election agent for Foyle’s Assembly candidate Shaun Harkin said the adults who “encouraged children to throw Molotov cocktails in Derry at the cemetery on Monday were pushing them into a political deadlock”.
“If they really believe that handing lit petrol bombs to 10-year-old children will further the cause of a united Ireland, or any other cause, they are dangerously unqualified to give leadership to children or anyone else. whatever else,” McCann said.
Violence erupted at the Lone Moor Road entrance to the city cemetery following arrests in connection with alleged offenses linked to a Republican Easter Rising commemoration parade in Derry.
Police Land Rovers, which had gathered along Lone Moor Road, were pelted with petrol bombs behind the cemetery gates.
Mr McCann slammed the PSNI, condemning those he said were “improving a response in deprived areas”.
“The vast majority of people firmly refuse to be dragged back into the cruel past,” he said.
“Conservatives are devastating the lives of working class communities. Families are under great pressure to put food on their table. People are sick with fear of what the future might bring. The health and education systems that today’s children will depend on are chronically underfunded and, in many cases, close to collapse.
“We need a fight for radical change. One of the problems facing all working class people is that the main parties in this part of the world have no fight left in them but to fight each other for executive seats.
“That’s not why petrol bombs were dropped in Derry on Monday. But it helps create the context in which it happened. The futility of mainstream politics in the North has left a vacuum that can be filled in one way or another.
“Some are determined to fill the void with age-old ideas that they can disguise as revolution.
“We need a movement of militant resistance to the unequal organization of society. But this can only be achieved by masses of people coming together to fight for a better world.
“People Before Profit believe in Irish unity. We must unite the struggles of Irish workers, North and South. This, we believe, is the only perspective in which a united Ireland can become a practical reality. as opposed to a colored ideal.
“People with serious political intentions know that a repetition of what was tried from the 70s to the 90s gets nowhere. And they will not encourage young people to put themselves in danger by acting as extras in a dangerous drama based on a twisted story.
“The children of Derry deserve better.”
Derry & Strabane District Commander Chief Superintendent Ryan Henderson said Monday evening: ‘Earlier today police were present at a notified parade in the city. Based on initial sightings, the parade participants were assessed as having potentially committed criminal offences. Police closely monitored the event and, at what was considered an appropriate time, took action to obtain evidence and make arrests.
“In doing so, police officers were attacked by petrol bombs and masonry.
“Our officers showed exceptional courage and professionalism in what was still clearly a dangerous situation. Fortunately, none of our officers or members of the public were harmed as a result of this reckless and criminal behavior. Our investigations will continue over the coming days and weeks to bring offenders to justice.
Foyle MP Colum Eastwood also condemned the scenes seen in Derry.