In August 1968, NICRA organised the north’s first civil rights march, from Coalisland to Dungannon. The police sealed off Dungannon town centre. A violent confrontation – fairly mild by later standards – made news headlines north and south.

Members of the DHAC contacted NICRA, asking for endorsement for a civil rights march in Derry. An ad-hoc organising committee came together. This was comprised of representatives of the DHAC, the Derry branch of the NILP, the NILP Young Socialists, the Republican Clubs and the James Connolly Society.

The march was scheduled for Saturday 5 October, to start at Duke Street in the Waterside.