Flag protesters block city roads

Published Friday, 25 January 2013
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Several roads were blocked in Belfast on Friday evening due to loyalist flag protests.

Flag protesters block city roads
Loyalist flag protesters block roads on Friday night (© Pacemaker)

Closures were in place across the city, however all roads have since re-opened.

Around 20 flag demonstrations were held across Northern Ireland as part of the campaign dubbed Operation Standstill, with trouble erupting in the Cloughfern area of Newtownabbey.

Around 350 people, including six bands, also attended a protest in Castlederg.

It was the first demonstration to apply to the Parades Commission since the flag protests began in early December.

Participants marched around the Diamond and laid a wreath at the war memorial in the Co Tyrone village.

TUV leader Jim Allister and Ulster Unionist councillor Derek Hussey were among the politicians to address the crowd.

There was a heavy police presence, but the protest passed off without incident.

On Saturday, police are expecting traffic disruption in Belfast city centre and also in the east of the city.

From 12pm to 2pm, the Newtownards Road, Bridge End, Queen's Bridge, Ann Street, Victoria Street, and the Donegall Square area around City Hall will be affected by traffic diversions.

The M3 off slip at Middlepath Street and the Sydenham by pass off slip at Bridge End will be closed to traffic from 1pm to 2.30pm.

Police expect traffic flows in other parts of the south and east of the city to remain unaffected.

Elsewhere, the Ulster People's Forum is set to meet at a Belfast hotel on Saturday morning to discuss its strategy.

© UTV News
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43 Comments
Rebecca in Belfast wrote (447 days ago):
To Charles - perhaps you could enlighten us as to why it is the pan nationalists councillors fault that the loyalists are out protesting? They weren't forced to do so. They read a leaflet posted by unionist politicians & took to the streets in their hundreds or sparse crowds to be fair. They may believe their "culture" is being taken from them yet not one can clarify what they actually mean. Its more like babies having a tantrum but they'll learn, eventually. Although the rest of us will have moved on while they remain in the dark holes they've created.
Maitiu in Beal Feirste wrote (447 days ago):
How much longer must we endure these track suit thugs blocking the roads? It is beyond a joke and a police force whom won't arrest them. No wonder the world laughs at this province. How many times must we see jamie bryson recite moral slogans from the Vietnam war such as " Freedom is not free ". A self appointed wannabe. Talking about their Protestant faith whilst most of them do not even know which denomination they are let alone actually attend a church to practice their alleged faith. Young kids with bricks and petrol bombs. The parents must be outstanding people. Have they yet figured out that Ulster is not a country? It is actually a province of the island of Ireland. 6 counties belong to the UK. The PUP quick to the rescue of the PUL community even though they voted for the same agreement ten years ago. The cry was no surrender or more like it, the death rattle was pale voices of put our fleg back up. These protests are not going to get the flag back up nor are they going to bring about any change. The PUP classed this is a revolution. Yes, a few hundred people out of several million populace counts as a revolution. Is Billy Hutchinson the new Che Guevera? I grew up in a loyalist area and i can count on one hand the amount of us whom went to university. While the rest depend on crisis loans and government hand out's. Well, I suppose the tracksuits get expensive. The normal, non sectarian working people of the north are sick and tired of these horrendous protests. Our economy is in dire condition, education cut backs, health care cut backs not to mention welfare cuts and you protestors wish to add more pressure to the tax payer all because of a flag. I am glad the unionist population is vast dying out. Leave us all in peace!!!
jim in s'land wrote (447 days ago):
@Charles in Lisbellaw... Lisbellaw has nothing whatsoever to do with Belfast city council..you don't pay rates in Belfast and you can't vote in BCC elections...My best advice for you is: Keep Lisbellaw tidy!
John in Ulaidh wrote (447 days ago):
Lets suppose that Northern Ireland had not changed for 90years. Unionist still dominant over their nationalist neighbours, does anyone think for one moment that the rest of the world would remain the same as it would have to for Northern Ireland to remain static. No my friends even if you could return to the good old bad old days the world yes the world changed. Global economics ment jobs left Northern Ireland your catholic neighboue didn't steal them. The Yard etc all gone or greatly downsized by global economics not nationalist equality. The Britain you love has not existed since the 1800's no longer master of the waves etc. Go to a real British city & see the diversity of cultures there. Wake up & smell the 21st century, time travels in one direction only.
big harry in greenisland wrote (448 days ago):
i wonder if marie could lend us some money and we could all go in to Belfast i work 5 day a week and it cost's that much for shopping heating and the other bill if i had the money a flag protest would be the least of my worries I'm sure other people are in the same situation if we had the money we would be in Belfast shopping and eating but sadly there is a recession maybe that has a lot to do with it as well
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