NI Protocol protesters ‘in this for the long haul’

Loyalists protesting against the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol are “in this for the long haul,” a speaker at a 3,000-strong rally has said.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 4:37 pm
People protesting against the NI Protocol on Belfast's Shankill Road on 10 June 2021. Photo: Presseye

Addressing the large gathering in the Shankill Road area of Belfast on Thursday evening, the protest leader also said: “Make no mistake about it, this protocol is an attack on Belfast Agreement; it is an attack on the peace process and political process; and it is an attack on British democracy here in Northern Ireland.”

Speaking to the News Letter on Friday, loyalist Jamie Bryson said he expected the protests will “increase in both frequency and intensity”.

A PSNI spokesman said warnings were issued to those taking part in the Shankill protest, and that video footage will now be reviewed.

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He added: “Organisers of parades/processions are required to give formal notification of their intentions which was regrettably not provided or forthcoming.”

Another protest is due to take place in Newtownards this Friday (18th) with parades from four locations converging on the town square at 8pm where “high profile” speakers will address the crowd.

There is no reference to the four parades on the website of the Parades Commission.

Loyalist Jamie Bryson said the Newtownards protest has been “organised by a collective of all main loyalist groups in the area who formed together in February in opposition to the Irish Sea border”.

He added: “On February 4 the group sent an open letter outlining the collective opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Progressing from that a series of peaceful protests have taken place in the area and it is my understanding that these protests will increase in both frequency and intensity as the campaign against the violence rewarding Protocol grows.”

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