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    Northern Ireland union flag protests and violence rumbles on and on (40 days and counting)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-20998867

    Loyalists and nationalists clash after Belfast flags protest

    Loyalists and nationalists have clashed in east Belfast after a union flag protest in the city centre on Saturday.
    http://news.sky.com/story/1037204/be...ficers-injured

    Belfast Protests: Four Police Officers Injured

    Four police officers have been injured during disorder in East Belfast this afternoon.

    Police used water cannons during sectarian clashes between loyalists and republicans in the Castlereagh Street area.
    Plus last night it all spread to Newtonabbey and Carrickfergus (towns just outside Belfast)

    Some background....

    This is all about Belfast city council's decision in early December to remove THIS flag....



    ....from Belfast City Hall. Now it only flies on certain days.

    When it transpired that the small non-affiliated Alliance Party had the critical swing vote in deciding this, the hardline loyalist crowds descended on their local political offices....



    ....and as I understand it they've had death threats and one of their offices was burnt down.

    These are the sorts of scenes in the loyalist neighbourhoods on some nights....







    ....but the trouble is mostly from disaffected youngsters it seems.

    There's a general lack of funding in these neighbourhoods and the culture is one of neglected youths on the estates with nothing to do.

    Meanwhile the accursed 'enemy' flag is burned outside City Hall....



    It's only a SMALL amount of people who take the flag issue this seriously but they are a vocal minority.

    In their minds, by removing the Union Jack, it is inferred that you've bowed down to the demands of the Irish nationalists, so it is perceived (by a few) that this is another step towards the reunification of the area with the Republic of Ireland.

    In Northern Ireland it is ALL about symbolism, and it runs VERY strong is some hearts.






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    Re: Northern Ireland union flag protests and violence rumbles on and on (40 days and counting)

    Sorta reminds me of the Confederate Flag being removed

    Yep

    Good to remove it

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    Re: Northern Ireland union flag protests and violence rumbles on and on (40 days and counting)

    Obsession with the flag as a symbol to such a fanatical degree is something I thought only happened in America, and then only amongst Republicans.

    I am oddly reassured that we are not the only crazy people on Earth.

    I give you John Prine's commentary:


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    Re: Northern Ireland union flag protests and violence rumbles on and on (40 days and counting)

    Was wondering if this would get a mention let me state now that Nationalists have clashed with Loyalists when their area was attacked on Saturday. This has also been stated by the PSNI who's chief constable (head of them) apologised to the people of Short Strand after the attack on their homes. These protests are illegal and should be dealt with. Loyalist and Unionist political representatives have failed to come out and stand against the thugs that are doing this. No one is against peaceful protests but small crowds people blocking road and cause chaos to commuters is a disgrace. The media have also failed trying to make this look like a tit for tat and need to be held accountable.
    "Flipping Dykes I though they were a myth like Weapons of Mass Destruction" Grace Adler.

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    Re: Northern Ireland union flag protests and violence rumbles on and on (40 days and counting)

    I'm sorry to hear of this. Of course, there is nothing I can do except stand by those in the right.
    Of course, again, I have not heard of this before but I will watch to see what happens.
    BEWARE! Harassing the Indian may result in sudden and severe hair loss.

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