Willie Frazer ‘threatened’ at Belfast pro-Palestinian rally

Willie Frazer at Belfast City Hall
Willie Frazer at Belfast City Hall

Police are investigating claims of an alleged assault during a pro-Palestinian rally outside Belfast City Hall.

The rally, organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), was taking place outside Belfast City Hall at 3pm when trouble broke out between pro-Palestinian supporters and people who had attended the earlier loyalist flag protest.

It is understood that a number of those had been holding Israeli flags.

At the time PSNI separated the two groups and no arrests were made. However yesterday a PSNI spokesman said a man attended Musgrave police station making an allegation of assault. “The incident is alleged to have taken place in Belfast city centre earlier in the day,” he said.

“The matter is now being investigated.”

Willie Frazer who had attended the earlier union flag protest from 1pm to 2pm said he made a complaint to the PSNI after he was “assaulted and men made threats to kill me”. “When I went across to the other side of the street from the pro-Palestinian rally to observe, they came at me like a bunch of animals,” he said. “I was there on my own although there was a group of women near me. The men who came at me were like a bunch of baying animals making threats to kill me. They started kicking and thumping me and shooting ‘stick him’. The police were there but there wasn’t enough of them. The crowd knocked my glasses off and one of them who hit me left an eight centimetre gash on my face. I was left with lumps on the back of my head.” Mr Frazer from Families Acting for Innocent Victims said: “If I had gone down during that, I would have been badly injured.”

A PSNI spokesman added: “Appropriate police resources were deployed at protests at Belfast City hall on Saturday 19th July.”

Meanwhile a 67-year-old woman who also had been involved in the union flag protest says she was “manhandled” by men when they tried to get an Israeli flag out of her hands. “One of them grabbed the flag and he trailed me into the middle of the road. Then there were about six of them trying to get the flag off me but I did not let it go.” She added that her handbag was ripped.