Orange Order to proceed with new march after being banned again
Violence in Northern Ireland damaging investment, tourism and economy
Rather than step back from the brink, the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast states that the march is about showing ‘we have not and will not go away,’ and it calls on supporters to stop at the Woodvale Road at the line of Orange marshalls.
‘After a period the National Anthem will be played and we will all disperse,’ the leaflet says.
It is not believed by many that the marchers and their supporters will go away however. On July 12 Orange Order marchers, some brandishing ceremonial swords, attacked the police officers that were preventing them from marching. The confrontations which also included hooded loyalist rioters were captured by international media crews and broadcast worldwide.
‘No matter what the provocation, violence is not the answer. Any violence will play into the hands of republicans,’ wrote the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast, who are nonetheless promoting the standoff.
The leaflet adds that the organizers' campaign will continue over coming months, certain to add to the cross community tensions after the traditional marching season ends.
Meanwhile a PSNI officer whose head was engulfed in flames after being hit with a petrol bomb in Belfast told the Belfast Telegraph he feared his whole body was on fire.
The 50-year-old sergeant was holding the line against loyalist rioters at the flashpoint area in the north of the city when he was struck by the bottle.
‘All I could see was a sheet of flames in front of me so, I couldn't really determine how much of me was alight,’ he said.
‘I couldn't feel the fire at first but the longer the flames were there I could feel myself burn. I was quite confident that the flames would be put out - it was just a case of making sure that we starved the flames of oxygen to put it out.’
Police have been hit with bricks, bottles, heavy masonry and over 100 petrol bombs during five consecutive nights of disorder along the contested stretch of road in Ardoyne which separates loyalist and nationalist communities.
There have been over 60 reported arrests of people aged between 12 and 52 years old.
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