Calls for calm before internment rally

Calls for calm before internment rally

Members of the DUP have met with the PSNI to discuss the policing of an anti internment parade through Belfast city centre.

Five thousand people and five bands are expected to join in the Anti Internment League event on Friday, after it was given the go-ahead by the Parades Commission.

Organisers have appealed for calm ahead of the event.

Dee Fennell said: "This is a parade over a human rights issue, not a republican parade and certainly not a dissident republican parade.

"People who think this is going to be some of dissident republican parade, or have people standing espousing views from illegal organisations, couldn't be further from the truth."

The parade begins at Ardoyne Avenue before moving along the Oldpark Road, Rosapenna Street, the Cliftonville Road, through the New Lodge and into the city centre. It will then pass Royal Avenue, head up Castle Street and along the Falls Road to Andersonstown.

Two loyalists residents groups have been granted permission to stage a counter protest - involving an estimated 300 people - at Royal Avenue.

A further four protests are planned by other Protestant organisations including No 2 District Loyal Orange Lodge, and aim to attract a further 600 demonstrators.

They have been given the go-ahead by the Parades Commission, but with restrictions on the numbers of supporters to be allowed.

A delegation from the DUP spoke to Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton on Thursday to discuss the policing of the march.

Speaking afterwards, Nelson McCausland MLA said it would be an "affront to decency" if the parade is allowed to pass, but hopes the evening will be peaceful.

He added: "On Friday night in Belfast we have dissident republicans taking to the street.

"If it does go ahead - I think it is an affront to decency and will appall decent people right across this province, and we believe the Chief Constable should look very carefully at the matter and recommend that this parade should not take place."


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