On all continents, women are engines of peace

D.In the 1970s, Ireland was on fire. This barely remembered civil war in Europe is beautifully evoked in Kenneth Branagh’s Hollywood Academy Award-winning film Belfast. We learn that 50 years ago, you are bombs almost exploded everyday And from the nationalist or loyalist groups fsometimes easy burst late in the evening in the buildings without hesitation performedall members of the same family.

10th August 1976youA tragic news will determine the fate of two women who did not know each other: Betty Williams and Maired Corrigan.

That afternoon, Anne Maguire, Mairead’s sister, returns to walk at home with her 4 children. Giovanna, 8 years old, ride overhead on his bicycle, brand name, 7 years And John, 2 yearswalks close to the mother pushing the wheelchair in which he dozes little Andrea, six weeks old. The family listens suddenly shoot and see a car unlocksr in a whirlwind from the corner of the street, pfollowed by two military jeeps. Drive the firstDanny Lennon, an IRA militant (the paramilitary group of the Irish Republican Army) that attempts to evade a British Army patrol. The soldiers open fire.

The young man is killed instantly but thein the car continues its mad dash on the pavement. Mark manages to jump off before the vehicle mows down Anna and the three other children. Joanne and Andrew die instantly. John and his mother, seriously injured and transported to the hospital where the little one died a few hours later. maireadwarned by a bulletin on the radio, rushes to the bedside of his sister who has fallen into a comafractured pelvis and legs.

At the same time, few minutes only after the drama, Betty Williamsin the car with the 4-year-old daughter, ride from Finaghy Road. Horrified, discovers the scrap heap of the car with the young man’s corpse Dannythe twisted bicycle, the disjointed stroller and lifeless bodies children on the bloody sidewalk. Back at home, he takes a pad of paper and a pencil and knocks on the doors of all his neighbors and then his entire neighborhood to get them to sign a peace petition. The women join her.

Those peaceful protests fromS. women who sowed and started the process of peace

In a few hours, thgirls rdelight 6000 signatures to stop the carnage. In front of the cameras, Betty denounces the violence she says “kill our children, our fathers and our brothers“and asks all Catholics and Protestants to mobilize. Mairead listens to this message and calls him for the‘to invite at his grandchildren’s funeral the following day. The two women meet for the first time at the cemetery. In the evening Mairead brings for him flowers detached from the funeral wreaths to Danny Lennon’s mother show compassion And tell her that she shares her pain as a mother.

The next day, 10,000 people gather for a peaceful march. 96% are women who no longer want to live in terror. For Catholics and Protestants, crossing the famous demarcation lines, barbed wire or sometimes walls erect between neighborhoods, it represents an act of courage because they risk being executed for treason by paramilitary groups.

►►► To receive information from Grenada via our newsletter, please do not hesitate to subscribe here

Marches are organized every Sunday to several cities in Northern Ireland and then to England and soon from the United States where the Irish community is important. Mairead and Betty are in the headlines and on all TV channels. LEUR initiative it causes a real awakening of consciences.

And even if we will have to wait another 22 years for the signing Lthe “Good Friday” agreements, They are certainly those peaceful protests fromS. women who sowed and started the process of peace.

Find the Esmeralda Chronicles of Belgium every month on Les Grenades.

If you would like to contact the Grenades team, you can email lesgrenades@rtbf.be

Les Grenades-RTBF is a project supported by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation that offers topical content from a gender and feminist prism. The project aims to give more voice to women, who are under-represented in the media.

Leave a Comment