David FordMLA said: “We supported the amendment, not because it said everything we wanted it to, but because it gives clear support for the Parades Commission and thePSNI, and called for dialogue and mutual respect for differing cultures.
“All sides must condemn the recent violence without equivocation. Unionist leaders do not seem to be able to condemn the violence without adding in a ‘but’ at the end. There appear to be more ‘buts’ in statements coming from Unionists, than in the ashtrays outside a pub.
“It is time that we heard from Unionist leaders of their full support for the police and their condemnation of all the violence without equivocation. It is time that we saw a real commitment to the talks that will be chaired by Dr Richard Haass around parading, the past and flags, issues that were not addressed in OFMDFM’s ‘Together Building a United Community’ strategy.
“There is a place for both orange and green cultures in a shared future. You can see this in the successful parade by the Londonderry Orange Lodges which should act as a model to be replicated in Belfast.
“We must resolve these issues now. We cannot wait until the same problems occur again in twelve months.”