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“The biggest patriotic folk resistance movement in Western Europe” [videos]

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More great footage from the Apprentice Boys’ annual Lundy’s Day parade in Londonderry.

Although the actual date of the closing of the gates against King James was the 18th December, the event is marked on the first Saturday in December.

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Volunteer flute bands from all over Northern Ireland – plus some from Scotland too – travel to the city to celebrate the stand taken on that day in 1688 by the thirteen apprentices who shut the gates during the famous siege of Derry.

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Every year crowds also cheer the burning of an effigy of the city’s tratior governor, who wanted to surrender.

As with the July celebrations to commemorate the Battle of the Boyne in 1689, the celebrations by hundreds of thousands of members of the Protestant community are among the very biggest patriotic folk festivals in the whole of Western Europe. The bands are also, in effect, the largest organised paramilitary movement in the West. This is how an embattled people preserves its identity and builds the power to resist oppression. Take note!

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