Protest at east Belfast Alliance office

Published Tuesday, 11 December 2012
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A crowd of around 150 people have protested outside the constituency office of East Belfast Alliance MP Naomi Long.

Protest at east Belfast Alliance office
Over 150 people attended a protest at the Alliance Party Constituency office. (© UTV)

The demonstration on the Upper Newtownards Road is understood to have passed peacefully and the crowd later dispersed from the area.

The group marched to the office following a meeting nearby where east Belfast DUP MLA Sammy Douglas and UUP MLA Michael Copeland were in attendance.

The latest protest follows Monday night's attack on police officers guarding the office.

The windows of the unmarked patrol car were smashed by a masked gang of youths and a petrol bomb was thrown inside while a female officer was still in the vehicle.

Police want to speak to anyone who was in the area of Grampian Avenue, Holywood Arches and Ravenscroft Avenue at their junctions with the Newtownards Road between 7pm and 8pm on Monday.

The incident, which was the latest in a series against the party and police, has been described by the PSNI as an "attempt to kill a police officer".

Last week the east Belfast MP received a death threat following a number of demonstrations at the premises.

Meanwhile crowds blocked a number of roads in Belfast on Tuesday evening amid continued protests over the flying of the Union flag.

Police have said all protests have now concluded and areas remain calm.

"A police presence will remain on duty through the evening to provide reassurance and support to local communities," a spokesperson said.

An 18-year-old man was arrested during the evening in connection with a protest in the Crumlin Road. He has been charged with obstructing the highway.

He is due to appear before Belfast Magistrates court on Wednesday.

Traffic was disrupted in the Crumlin Road/Ligoniel Road area where a group of around 20 young people gathered.

A small crowd which gathered at the entrance to the Mount Vernon estate has dispersed and the Shore Road has reopened to traffic.

A crowd of around 70 people, including men, women and children, also gathered on the Donegall Road in south Belfast.

They ignored police calls to move off the road but did step aside at Tavanagh Street to allow an ambulance through.

The Milltown Road in west Belfast and the Oldpark Road in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast was closed for a time due to protests.

Police are also appealing for information after the attempted hijacking of two cars at a protest in the Glendermott Road area of Londonderry. The passengers were not injured but were left badly shaken.

It is the ninth consecutive night of protests sparked by a controversial vote over the flying of the Union flag at Belfast City Hall.

On Monday night 43 separate illegal road blocks took place, with violence breaking out in four areas.

An 18-year-old man has been charged with riotous assembly after disorder in the Village area of south Belfast.

He is due to appear at Belfast Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
21 Comments
Not fooled. in Belfast wrote (627 days ago):
Make no mistake, the DUP and UUP presence is the first shot in trying to take back the seat from Naomi Long. Why are they so suddenly up in arms about City Hall flag.... Where was their dissent and outcry when Lisburn (one of their strongholds) and Stormont (the local government's seat of power) changes were passed. Yet again the DUP spin meisters have deflected everything away from themselves, and begun electioneering.
Colm Morren in Belfast wrote (627 days ago):
I notice that the province is running short of blood supplies. Why don't the protestors get over to City Hospital and donate some blood for Ulster!
john in Belfast wrote (627 days ago):
Billy Hutchinson wants the protests to continue. Yeah, I bet he does. It's the only way he can get his face on TV.The poor loyalist people are not represented at stormont.No bloody wonder. All the world sees of loyalisim ( Yes the WORLD)is thugs who try and kill police, block roads and riot. Try doing all that after work. Oh, I forgot 99% don't work. They just stop those who do going to theirs.1970's style.Stuck in a time warp.
james in manchester/belfast wrote (628 days ago):
Again no plastic bullet's fired at loyalists,wreck and ruin and always not one bullet fired but when nationalists cause trouble the police fire dozens,sometimes hundreds! Always get away with what ever they want. Plus if nationalists put a petrol bomb through the window of a police car with officers in it,they whould have used their pistols as their lives were in serious danger!!
david in east belfast wrote (628 days ago):
if they are wanting to protest then why not protest where ever they like. who cares if it is a main road or not. if i was to block my street then i would not get the attention that i need to make my protest valid. if it is the peoples faces, then it is getting the attention it deserves.
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