Unionists flag behind anti-abortion and gays: more Belfast City hall trouble (photos)
IN photos: Loyalist protesters converge on Belfast city hall. The protests and demonstrations continue at the removal of the Union flag from the city hall. There has been more violence. The BBC says protestors have pelted police with fireworks, bricks, stones and golf balls.
A 38-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after shots were reportedly fired at police also in east Belfast.
Leading Loyalist Jackie McDonald tells the Belfast Telegraph:
I share the anger in the loyalist community but somebody needs to stand up and tell the truth, which is that the flag is not going to go up again without an election or agreement … Sinn Fein has achieved this and until there is a change in the balance of power in City Hall, the flag decision won’t be reversed. There is no point giving people false hope.
First Minister Rt Hon Peter Robinson MLA opines:
“Since the decision was taken to remove the Union flag from Belfast City Hall I have consistently, and frequently, indicated that it was ill-considered and provocative. In December I said in a joint statement issued with Mike Nesbitt that it remained our view that the cause was best served by moving beyond protest and to a political solution. While people are entitled to lawfully and peacefully protest there can be absolutely no justification for issuing threats, acts of violence and terror or other unlawful behaviour.
“The violence and destruction visited on the PSNI is a disgrace, criminally wrong and cannot be justified. Those responsible are doing a grave disservice to the cause they claim to espouse and are playing into the hands of those dissident groups who would seek to exploit every opportunity to further their terror aims. ..
Many genuine people were outraged by the City Council decision and were in the beginning prepared to express their anger by protesting but it is clear that alternative political routes are available and a continuation of the protests has no role in changing the bad decision that was taken.
He then play politics:
“The real purpose of those who claim to speak for some of the organisers of the protests is fast becoming clear. Their attacks on the DUP expose their real target. It is not about the flag, the Alliance Party, Sinn Fein or the erosion of culture it is a straight-forward politically motivated attempt to undermine the DUP as the voice of unionism despite our attempts to oppose the removal of the Union Flag in Belfast.”
It’s all about his party. But what can be done?
But now that those politically motivated spokespersons, who are to the fore in attacking the DUP and other fellow unionists, have admitted that their real goal is to replace our locally accountable devolved institution with Direct Rule we can see the total bankruptcy of their thoughts.
How can Unionists unite?
Let them explain to the people the benefit of Water Charging and higher Regional Rates which would automatically follow Direct Rule. And are they content to have Westminster impose same sex marriages and abortion on demand on our community? Such folly. Have they so quickly forgotten the decisions of direct rule in the past?”
The unionists will unite by agreeing to move against gay and women’s rights. Brilliant.