http://news.sky.com/story/1037204/be...ficers-injuredLoyalists 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.
Plus last night it all spread to Newtonabbey and Carrickfergus (towns just outside Belfast)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.
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.