Republicans call for ‘mass mobilisation’ to confront veterans in Belfast

More than 1,000 veterans who served in Northern Ireland attended a rally at Westminster last month.

More than 1,000 veterans who served in Northern Ireland attended a rally at Westminster last month.

A republican group that threatened a confrontation with a military veterans’ protest march in Londonderry has issued a similar threat to confront former soldiers at a rally in Belfast.

In a message posted on Facebook, Saoradh has called for “a mass mobilisation” of supporters on April 14 “to resist this unwanted march by this part of Britain’s war machine”.

The Belfast veterans’ rally has been organised by the Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans group – calling on the government to end the “gross abuse and witch-hunts” in search of prosecutions arising from Troubles legacy cases.

Similar rallies are taking place in London and Glasgow on the same day.

Saoradh say they are providing “a peaceful, radical and purposeful opportunity” to oppose the rally and have planned their protest to coincide with the veterans’ event at 11am.

The message goes on to say: “We shall assemble at the top of Castle Street, at exactly the same time as this pro-imperialist British Army event, and make our way to Belfast City Hall.”

The cancelled march in the city of Londonderry had been organised by the Justice for Veterans UK (JFVUK) – to take place on March 4 – but has now been switched to Coleraine on the same date.

Organiser Anto Wickham said he had reluctantly cancelled the JFVUK event “to avoid others exploiting the situation to create community tensions or to engage in violence,”