American Political Actions



Protests following the death of Bobby Sands

Demonstrations against British Leaders



Protests following the death of Bobby Sands

"In Boston, about 35 people - many wearing mourning black - gathered in front of the British Consulate's home on Chestnut street for a candlelight vigil after Sands' death."
     Boston Globe, 5 May 1981

AIA Dig. ID 0035PL03


"As bagpipers played Irish laments and a symbolic coffin covered with the Irish flag was carried by marchers, about 1,500 demonstrators paraded yesterday evening in front of the British consulate on Manhattan's East Side to protest the death of Robert Sands and to denounce the Government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher...

The demonstration in front of the consulate on Third Avenue and 52nd Street was one of a handful around the country, all of them reportedly noisy but peaceful. There were also memorial vigils and prayer services sponsored by Irish American organizations."
      New York Times, 6 May 1981, A-15

"[Pat] Nolan, one of the most active Irish Republican Army supporters among San Francisco's Irish bar-owners…sent away most of the people in his bar, announcing he was closing his doors from noon to 3 p.m. in memory of Sands.

Nolan also organized other Irish bar owners around town, and many closed their bars for a few hours to show their solidarity with the cause that Sands died for."
      "A Quiet Hour in S.F. Irish Bars" by Susan Sward
       San Francisco Chronicle, 6 May 1981, 15-1-P

"Nearly 300 chanting supporters of the Irish Republican Army demonstrated in front of the British consul's house in Pacific Heights last night, protesting the deaths of IRA hunger strikers Francis Hughes and Bobby Sands.

The protesters, who ranged from children to senior citizens, carried placards saying: "Avenge Sands and Hughes-Smash British Imperialism.

One demonstrator, the Rev. Paul Devine, 48, of St. Bernard's Church in Oakland, said he grew up in Belfast and was marching in his priestly garb because 'this is my way of protesting murders by the English.'"
      "300 Protest Outside British Consul's House"
       San Francisco Chronicle, 13 May 1981

AIA Dig. ID 0036PL03

"More than 10,000 marchers closed off five Manhattan blocks in front of the British Consulate last Saturday, in the largest Republican demonstration in America in ten years. The second largest demonstration occurred spontaneously on Tuesday, following the death of Robert Sands. These demonstrations were organized by Irish Northern Aid.

Similar demonstrations occurred across the country. In San Francisco, more than 2,000 demonstrated, and there was a call by Fr. Devine for a boycott of British goods which received extensive media coverage.

In Boston, there have been daily demonstrations since Sands' death and the daily pickets continue in Chicago.

Philadelphia has also been the site of major protests.

Meanwhile the Longshoremen announced a one day refusal boycott of British shipping. Transit Workers Union leader John Lawe called upon his members to drive with headlights on all day n the day of Sands' burial. A national boycott of British Airways has been announced."
      "New York: 10,000 Mourn"
       Irish People, 16 May 1981, 1

"New Yorkers of all ages, religions and political backgrounds joined in the vigil for Irish nationalist Bobby Sands in demonstrations throughout New York City on Monday, May 4, as Sands drifted closer to death in Maze prison."
      "Bobby Sands is Mourned Here" by Joe Murphy
       Irish Echo, 16 May 1981


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