Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Fears over sectarian clashes at Belfast G8 rally

A protester is detained on Oxford Street as part of a protest ahead of next week's G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 11, 2013 in London, England. Next week will see Enniskillen in Northern Ireland host the two day G8 summit where international leaders including Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama take part in the two day event. The chosen location is only 8 kilometers from the scene of one of Northern Ireland's worst killings back in 1987, however Cameron is confident that it's secluded location will deter any potential trouble.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
A protester is detained on Oxford Street as part of a protest ahead of next week's G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 11, 2013 in London, England. Next week will see Enniskillen in Northern Ireland host the two day G8 summit where international leaders including Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama take part in the two day event. The chosen location is only 8 kilometers from the scene of one of Northern Ireland's worst killings back in 1987, however Cameron is confident that it's secluded location will deter any potential trouble. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Police officers including members of the PSNI undergo riot training including the use of dog handlers at Longmoor Army Camp ahead of the G8 meeting in Northern Ireland
A car makes its way along a security fence erected around the G8 venue, the Lough Erne Golf Resort, in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, Thursday, June 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
The new banner unveiled for the G8 protest at Belfast City Hall which will lead the Belfast G8 protest on Saturday organised by the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Police officers including members of the PSNI undergo riot training including the use of a water cannon at Longmoor Army Camp ahead of the G8 meeting in Northern Ireland
David Henshaw of Dancing Years performs outside Tate Modern, London, as part of a series of live music events organised by agit8 to raise awareness of their campaign to build pressure upon governments to end hunger and poverty in the run up to the G8 summit
Anti-militarist protesters outside the offices of BAE Systems in central London ahead of next week's G8 Summit of world leaders in Northern Ireland
Anti-militarist protesters outside the offices of BAE Systems in central London ahead of next week's G8 Summit of world leaders in Northern Ireland
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 12: General view of a film projection at agit8 at Tate Modern, ONE's campaign ahead of the G8 on June 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 12: General view of a film projection at agit8 at Tate Modern, ONE's campaign ahead of the G8 on June 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 12: General view of a film projection at agit8 at Tate Modern, ONE's campaign ahead of the G8 on June 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 12: General view of a film projection at agit8 at Tate Modern, ONE's campaign ahead of the G8 on June 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 12: General view of a film projection at agit8 at Tate Modern, ONE's campaign ahead of the G8 on June 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 12: Mic Righteous performing at agit8 at Tate Modern, ONE's campaign ahead of the G8 on June 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 12: David Gray performs at agit8 at Tate Modern, ONE's campaign ahead of the G8 on June 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 12: James Morrison performing at agit8 at Tate Modern, ONE's campaign ahead of the G8 on June 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 12: Dancing Years performing at agit8 at Tate Modern, ONE's campaign ahead of the G8 on June 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 12: Carly Connor performing at agit8 at Tate Modern, ONE's campaign ahead of the G8 on June 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 12: Tom Odell performing at agit8 at Tate Modern, ONE's campaign ahead of the G8 on June 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 12: Newton Faulkner performing at agit8 at Tate Modern, ONE's campaign ahead of the G8 on June 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Protesters are seen at the start of a demonstration on Oxford Street as part of a protest ahead of next week's G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 11, 2013 in London, England. Next week will see Enniskillen in Northern Ireland host the two day G8 summit where international leaders including Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama take part in the two day event. The chosen location is only 8 kilometers from the scene of one of Northern Ireland's worst killings back in 1987, however Cameron is confident that it's secluded location will deter any potential trouble. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: A protester is seen on Regent Street after activists occupied a convergence centre of the Stop G8 protest group off Beak Street ahead of next week's G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 11, 2013 in London, England. Next week will see Enniskillen in Northern Ireland host the two day G8 summit where international leaders including Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama take part in the two day event. The chosen location is only 8 kilometers from the scene of one of Northern Ireland's worst killings back in 1987, however Cameron is confident that it's secluded location will deter any potential trouble. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Police are seen on Beak Street to diffuse anti G8 protesters potentially becoming violent, as they reportedly occupy a Police Station ahead of next week's G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 11, 2013 in London, England. Next week will see Enniskillen in Northern Ireland host the two day G8 summit where international leaders including Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama take part in the two day event. The chosen location is only 8 kilometers from the scene of one of Northern Ireland's worst killings back in 1987, however Cameron is confident that it's secluded location will deter any potential trouble. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Protesters are seen holding placards during a demonstration on Regent Street as part of a protest ahead of next week's G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 11, 2013 in London, England. Next week will see Enniskillen in Northern Ireland host the two day G8 summit where international leaders including Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama take part in the two day event. The chosen location is only 8 kilometers from the scene of one of Northern Ireland's worst killings back in 1987, however Cameron is confident that it's secluded location will deter any potential trouble. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Protesters console each other after being led from a building they had been occupying on Beak Street in Soho, as part of a protest ahead of next week's G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 11, 2013 in London, England. Next week will see Enniskillen in Northern Ireland host the two day G8 summit where international leaders including Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama take part in the two day event. The chosen location is only 8 kilometers from the scene of one of Northern Ireland's worst killings back in 1987, however Cameron is confident that it's secluded location will deter any potential trouble. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Demonstrators hold up a banner against the G8 outside the headquarters of British based oil multinational BP during a protest in London, Tuesday, June 11, 2013 .The protestors were demonstrating against the upcoming G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 17 and 18.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Riot police hold off protesters in Golden Square during a demonstration ahead of next week's G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 11, 2013 in London, England. Next week will see Enniskillen in Northern Ireland host the two day G8 summit where international leaders including Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama take part in the two day event. The chosen location is only 8 kilometers from the scene of one of Northern Ireland's worst killings back in 1987, however Cameron is confident that it's secluded location will deter any potential trouble. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
A man walks past razor wire which has been laid in fields near the Lough Erne resort in County Fermanagh the venue for next week's G8 Summit
Protesters clash with police in Golden Square, London. Hundreds of riot police were deployed throughout central London today as protests took place against next week's G8 summit. A building was occupied by demonstrators in Soho and there was a stand-off between protesters and police in Piccadilly as officers blocked access to Fortnum & Mason. The historic shop was targeted during protests against Government cuts in 2011
Protesters clash with police in Golden Square, London. Hundreds of riot police were deployed throughout central London today as protests took place against next week's G8 summit. A building was occupied by demonstrators in Soho and there was a stand-off between protesters and police in Piccadilly as officers blocked access to Fortnum & Mason. The historic shop was targeted during protests against Government cuts in 2011
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 12: Police stand behind some anti-arms trade cordon tape during protests outside arms manufacturer BAe Systems on June 12, 2013 in London, England. Protests are expected to take place in London in the lead up to the G8 meeting to be held in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland on the 17 and 18 June 2013. The chosen location is only 8 kilometers from the scene of one of Northern Ireland's worst killings back in 1987, however Cameron is confident that it's secluded location will deter any potential trouble. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Riot police hold off protesters in Golden Square during a demonstration ahead of next week's G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 11, 2013 in London, England. Next week will see Enniskillen in Northern Ireland host the two day G8 summit where international leaders including Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama take part in the two day event. The chosen location is only 8 kilometers from the scene of one of Northern Ireland's worst killings back in 1987, however Cameron is confident that it's secluded location will deter any potential trouble. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Protesters relax after being led from a building they had been occupying on Beak Street in Soho, as part of a protest ahead of next week's G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 11, 2013 in London, England. Next week will see Enniskillen in Northern Ireland host the two day G8 summit where international leaders including Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama take part in the two day event. The chosen location is only 8 kilometers from the scene of one of Northern Ireland's worst killings back in 1987, however Cameron is confident that it's secluded location will deter any potential trouble. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Razor wire which has been laid in fields near the Lough Erne resort in County Fermanagh the venue for next weeks G8 Summit
A man walks past razor wire which has been laid in fields near the Lough Erne resort in County Fermanagh the venue for next weeks G8 Summit
Security in fields near the Lough Erne resort in County Fermanagh the venue for next weeks G8 Summit
A water Cannon leaves a security check point near the Lough Erne resort in County Fermanagh the venue for next week's G8 Summit
Razor wire which has been laid in fields near the Lough Erne resort in County Fermanagh the venue for next week's G8 Summit

There are fears extremists will hijack a G8 protest this weekend.

A shadowy group calling itself the Ulster Defence League, Belfast Division, issued a rallying call yesterday ahead of Saturday’s G8 protest.

An estimated 20,000 protesters will make their way from the Custom House Square to the City Hall, where speeches will be hosted ahead of next week’s G8 summit in Co Fermanagh.

Organisers, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu), described the rally as an opportunity to voice opposition to some of the policies of the G8 countries.

However, concerns are mounting after the call by the little-known UDL to attend Saturday’s protest, to “counter... dissidents who (are) going to infiltrate” it.

A message posted on the group’s Facebook page called on supporters to attend a “big protest at Belfast City Hall on Saturday to counter... lefty’s, commy’s and the dissident’s (sic) who are going to infiltrate them”.

“So us Prod’s must be there to meet them head on!!” the message added.

Dissident republican group Eirigi, which has said it will be protesting at the G8 summit, is expected to attend Saturday’s protest in Belfast.

An Ictu spokesman said that everyone would be welcome at the event.

“I’m not going to say to anyone to stay away if they are coming in the right spirit,” he said. “Trade unions have worked with republicans and loyalists in improving good relations across Northern Ireland. But if they are wanting to cause trouble, then plainly they are not welcome.”

Kevin Doherty from Ictu said the group had been informed by loyalist sources that the Ulster Defence League has no links with the main loyalist groups.

“I understand they are separate to any of the loyalist organisations. I think the only links they have are to the flag protests,” Mr Doherty said. “We first became aware of them online two weeks ago, after the death of (murdered soldier) Lee Rigby,” he added.

The police have warned that, “to remain within the law, protesters should not block roads or prevent the free flow of vehicle or pedestrian traffic”.

However, Belfast councillor Jim Rodgers said there were serious concerns the G8 protest could descend into trouble amid shoppers and tourists in the city’s centre.

“Naturally, because these groups (Ulster Defence League Belfast division and Eirigi) are poles apart in regards to their views, there are concerns about serious public disorder,” he said.

background

Saturday’s G8 protest will start at Custom House Square shortly after noon. Protesters will march through Belfast’s centre to City Hall, where trade union leaders will give speeches until 2pm.

Organisers yesterday unveiled a banner to be carried at the event, bearing the words, ‘Another World Is Possible’.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz