Protest held at Galloway talk in Belfast

Published Saturday, 23 August 2014
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Pro-Israeli demonstrators have staged a protest at the Ulster Hall in Belfast over an event held by the English MP George Galloway.

The Respect MP for Bradford West, who was born in Scotland and supports the No campaign ahead of the Scottish independence referendum, held the Saturday night event in the city venue to talk about politics in the UK and abroad.

The event caused controversy locally after Mr Galloway declared Bradford an "Israeli free area" during a speech at a meeting in Leeds.

He was later interviewed by police over the incident.

The DUP called for Belfast City Council, which manages the Ulster Hall, to cancel the event, which its representatives described as "irresponsible".

However, following a review by the council, the event was given the green light.

On Saturday around 200 loyalist protestors gathered outside the venue to voice their anger at the event.

There was a large PSNI presence around the venue, with additional officers including riot police nearby.

DUP Belfast councillor Ruth Patterson was one of those protesting against the talk.

She told UTV: "Everybody is entitled to have their say, just as we are entitled to have our protest."

Over 1,000 people turned up for the 'Saturday night with George Galloway' event.

The protest outside the Ulster Hall passed off peacefully and police say no arrests were made.

© UTV News
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81 Comments
jackie in belfast wrote (23 days ago):
@Ryan in An Dun first of all can I say that for someone who doesn`t like the western media you seem to spend an awful lot of your time on this media site slating people who don`t agree with your views, anyway I think you will find that IS and every other Islamic country in the middle east wants the destruction of Israel and in IS and Hamas case the destruction of Israels people as well. Maybe you can check out your "many outlets" and see if there is any mention of Hamas executing people outside a mosque or is that just western propaganda? Your beloved Hamas fire their rockets from built up areas, schools and near hospitals in the hope that Israel will retaliate and kill innocent people. That is what they want, "look what they are doing to our women and children", the very women and children they care so little about that they put them in such great danger of being killed! Yes the first casualty of war is always the truth ! Israel has been on a war footing from its birth that is why when it is attacked it always strikes back, it never fails to retaliate and Hamas use this as a weapon to get people like yourself on its side, I wish you would tell us all what Israel should do when rockets are fired into its cities and towns by people who want them wiped of the face of the earth?
Iain in Belfast wrote (23 days ago):
"why give the British government more information than they need to know". Well Ryan, I hope for your sake you are wearing your tinfoil hat.
Ryan in An Dun wrote (23 days ago):
@ Jackie and Iain, as I have said before Jackie, I get my news from many outlets not just western media. And Jackie I am not on social media (why give the British government more information than they need to know). I don't like the way you tar everyone with the same brush Jackie. What has IS got to do with The Gaza conflict? How many Israelis have IS killed? IS are committing triable crimes against innocent people and should not be supported if this ethnic cleansing is their political or religious views. Hamas want an Israeli commitment to ease its siege and blockade of Gaza permitting the entry of relief supplies and reconstruction materials. It's human nature that if something or someone is cornered they will fight to be free. I have said before that I condem the violence on both sides. A lot of people come on here and just condemn the violence from Hamas but stop short of condemning the killing by Israel. I agree with George Galloway that sanctions should be imposed on Israel. The Americans and some countries in the EU are quick to impose sanctions on the Russian Federation with reference to Crimea. In February 2011 the UN Security Council has voted unanimously to impose sanctions on Muammar Gaddafi's Libyan regime for its attempts to put down an uprising. The Israeli government are bombing schools and hospitals and maiming innocent men, women and children and the west are continuing to supply them with the support both financially and in the form of weapons. If you want to listen to the western media, that's up to you. The western governments use the media to inject fear into societies. If they are looking public support for wars (some illegal) or if they are looking permission to use public funds. I, along with many others have contacted the Irish government to express concern over lack of action taken to start imposing sanctions on Israel. There are marches that take place in Dublin. These are citizens that are expressing their concern. The Irish government say that they have sent €500,000 in aid. This is their answer to Americas $225 million funding to Israel. And Iain I don't know if you read the headline before commenting. But this story is about a talk by George Galloway. It's not about other worldwide conflicts. When UTV do a story on Iraq, North Korea, Libya, etc I will express my views.
Taxi Paul in Belfast wrote (23 days ago):
@ Ger in Lurgan How many Jews were driven out of the Arab states at the same time? I believe it was almost 600,000. What about their homes and their stolen land and possessions? The difference is that Israel gave them sanctuary and citizenship. The Arab states involved could have resettled the 'Palestinian refugees' in these empty Jewish homes. Instead they decided to keep them in refugee camps, deny them citizenship and keep them in poverty. During the six day war the Arab armies were boasting about the genocide and ethnic cleansing they would commit.
Iain in Belfast wrote (23 days ago):
Ah Ryan, why get so defensive when I just asked you a simple question. Why not show this much concern to other warzones across the world? I don't think I need to jump to conclusions regarding your stance on the world. Its proof that reading the daily sport doesn't improve an iq.
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The voice above the crowd didn't come from within that increasingly tense and angry political arena.
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