Rolling Thunder bikers crowds in London
Northern Ireland

Bikers Protest In London Over Bloody Sunday Prosecution

Organisers of the Rolling Thunder event said their action is directed against the British Government, rather than the victims' families.

Rolling Thunder bikers crowds in London

Bikers have been holding a protest in London in response to the prosecution of a British soldier over Bloody Sunday.

Thousands of motorcyclists took part in the protest on Friday.

A similar demonstration took place in Belfast with around 80 riders arriving at Stormont on Friday afternoon.

'Soldier F' is to face prosecution over the murders of two people and attempted murder of four others in Londonderry in 1972, when troops opened fire on civil rights demonstrators.

Veterans have reacted angrily to the decision to take legal action decades on, after a lengthy campaign by relatives of some of the 13 people who died.

They were shot dead on 30 January 1972 on one of the most notorious days of the Northern Ireland Troubles.

The organisers of 'Rolling Thunder' said their action is directed against the British Government, rather than the victims' families.

Watch: The Rolling Thunder event started on Friday morning.

Soldier F is to face charges for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O'Donnell.

A public inquiry into Bloody Sunday conducted by a senior judge shortly after the deaths was branded a whitewash by victims' families and a campaign was launched for a new public inquiry.

A fresh probe was eventually ordered by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1998.

A decade-long investigation by Lord Saville concluded that the troops killed protesters who posed no threat.

Bloody Sunday memorial
A Bloody Sunday mural in Londonderry.

The Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service announced last month that Soldier F would face charges.

Sixteen other members of 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment who were investigated were told they would not face any further action.

A Government spokesperson said: "We are indebted to the soldiers who served with courage and distinction to bring peace to Northern Ireland.

"Although the decision to prosecute was taken by the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service, which is independent from Government, we will offer full legal and pastoral support to the individual affected."

Forces News has contacted the families for a statement but has not yet received a response.