(Image source: BBC)

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

Protesters in Northern Ireland attacked police vehicles with sledgehammers and hatchets Monday in another night of violent demonstrations.

 

The United Kingdom’s Union flag is at the center of a heated dispute in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. The city council voted last month to stop flying that flag over city hall every day. And as a result, U.K. loyalists in the region have staged public protests over the past month. [Video: Sinn Fein]

 

The BBC reports.

 

“Police have accused some loyalist paramilitary of organizing trouble. Others blame social media … Only a small number of areas have been hit by trouble, but the cost has been high.”

 

The violence Monday wasn’t just between protesters and police. It was largely between loyalists and Northern Ireland nationalists.

 

The demonstrations began as peaceful protests by loyalists at Belfast’s city hall seen here. The real trouble started as the loyalists marched back into east Belfast. As they passed the Short Strand, nationalists threw rocks and bottles at the loyalist crowd, with a few fights between both sides breaking out. Police intervened, trying to move loyalist protesters further up Newtownards Road — but soon they too were attacked, with loyalists smashing police cars with sledgehammers and hatchets. [Video: Google Earth]

 

Of course, the violence is about more than just a flag. Loyalists see the city council decision as a sign of resentment toward the U.K. government — digging up long-held tensions built on cultural differences, even between Catholics and Protestants. [Video: Sky News]

 

CNN International says many U.K. loyalists have long felt ignored in Northern Ireland.

 

“This is the straw that broke the camel’s back. And I would say that the community that I come from, and I’ve been saying this for a long way, have just about had enough. And the frustration you’re seeing on the streets.”

 

Police are on guard for another night of protests Tuesday. Sky News reports more than 60 police officers have been injured in protests over the last five weeks. More than 100 people have been arrested.

Loyalists, Nationalists Clash Over Union Flag in Belfast

by Zach Toombs
0
Transcript
Jan 8, 2013

Loyalists, Nationalists Clash Over Union Flag in Belfast

(Image source: BBC)

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

Protesters in Northern Ireland attacked police vehicles with sledgehammers and hatchets Monday in another night of violent demonstrations.

 

The United Kingdom’s Union flag is at the center of a heated dispute in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. The city council voted last month to stop flying that flag over city hall every day. And as a result, U.K. loyalists in the region have staged public protests over the past month. [Video: Sinn Fein]

 

The BBC reports.

 

“Police have accused some loyalist paramilitary of organizing trouble. Others blame social media … Only a small number of areas have been hit by trouble, but the cost has been high.”

 

The violence Monday wasn’t just between protesters and police. It was largely between loyalists and Northern Ireland nationalists.

 

The demonstrations began as peaceful protests by loyalists at Belfast’s city hall seen here. The real trouble started as the loyalists marched back into east Belfast. As they passed the Short Strand, nationalists threw rocks and bottles at the loyalist crowd, with a few fights between both sides breaking out. Police intervened, trying to move loyalist protesters further up Newtownards Road — but soon they too were attacked, with loyalists smashing police cars with sledgehammers and hatchets. [Video: Google Earth]

 

Of course, the violence is about more than just a flag. Loyalists see the city council decision as a sign of resentment toward the U.K. government — digging up long-held tensions built on cultural differences, even between Catholics and Protestants. [Video: Sky News]

 

CNN International says many U.K. loyalists have long felt ignored in Northern Ireland.

 

“This is the straw that broke the camel’s back. And I would say that the community that I come from, and I’ve been saying this for a long way, have just about had enough. And the frustration you’re seeing on the streets.”

 

Police are on guard for another night of protests Tuesday. Sky News reports more than 60 police officers have been injured in protests over the last five weeks. More than 100 people have been arrested.

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