In early January 1969, as police attacked the Bogside, the slogan ‘You Are Now Entering Free Derry’ was first written on the gable wall. It was inspired by the sit-in protests in Berkeley University, California.
The original hand-painted slogan, January 1969
Barricades were erected and the police, for the most part, repelled. Radio Free Derry began to broadcast from the Rossville Street Flats. The concept of Free Derry was born.
In April 1969 Sammy Devenny was attacked by the RUC in his home. He died of his injuries on 17 July and became the first victim of this stage of the conflict in the city. His death pushed the Bogside to the edge.