Ford warns of the dangers of calling for ‘peaceful protests’

Alliance Leader, David Ford MLA, has warned of the dangers when political leaders call for ‘peaceful protests’. He was speaking after Unionist parties indicated that there would be a graduated response to the decision of the Parades Commission to place restrictions on the return route of an Orange Order parade in North Belfast on 12th July.

David Ford MLA said: “Sadly, it is inevitable that when leaders call for ‘peaceful protest’, people will come out onto the streets and it will be the young people who are the ones who are punished when they receive criminal records for taking part in violence. It is easy for politicians to make eloquent statements, but there are now over 600 people with criminal records because of previous such statements.

“All sides must accept the Parades Commission rulings as the lawful determinations. If the DUP and UUP are so opposed to the current arrangements then the place to have changed the current system was the all-party talks.

“Sooner or later, the DUP and UUP will have to come back to the table and finally resolve the issues of flags, parades and the past. We owe it to the victims and survivors to reach agreement on a process to deal with the legacy of the past that delivers truth and justice.”


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