Alliance Councillor Naomi Long has called for the removal of paramilitary flags across East Belfast after a dispute over flags was blamed for loyalist violence in the area last night.
Condemning the violence, Cllr Long said that it was time that all paramilitary territorial markers were removed to reduce tension in East Belfast.
Cllr Long said, “I utterly condemn this latest loyalist violence. People are sick and tired of paramilitaries bringing their feuds onto the streets of East Belfast.
“Yet again we see how paramilitary flags can create division within our community, even between loyalists. It is time that these paramilitary territorial markers, which are used to intimidate the entire community, were removed once and for all.
“Tougher measures must be introduced to tackle those who erect paramilitary flags. It is long past the time that those behind these flags were prosecuted.”
“This violence illustrates that that the purpose of paramilitary flags is not to celebrate culture but to mark out territory.”