Peace rally held at Belfast City Hall
A peace rally has been held in Belfast, a day after the city saw some of the most violent scenes since the flag dispute began last month.
Sunday, 13 January 2013
A crowd of up to 1,500 gathered at city hall to make noise, which they hoped would allow their voice to be heard.
People of various ages and from different sections of the community clapped, cheered and blew whistles as part of a collective din at 12.55pm on Sunday.
Organisers said they wanted to "stand shoulder with those who faced violence and intimidation and make some sort of statement to those who would listen that our differences should be resolved through democratic means."
"People I've spoken to say they wanted to turn out today to stand for a new Belfast and to stand for peace," said UTV reporter Judith Hill.
Many families took part in the rally, and one father-of-two said he was there for his children's future.
"I don't want my kids to grow up in the country that I grew up in. I was born in 1975 and throughout my childhood all I knew was violence. I don't want that for my kids," he explained.
A woman, flanked by her children, told UTV: "We are living in Belfast and we love this city and we would like to live in a peaceful place. We would like to show our children we can do something."
Organisers say the five minutes of noise symbolised the silent majority speaking out, and a huge round of applause ended the gathering.
Last month crowds joined hands around the city hall, while a non silent event was also held in the city centre.