Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Hoping for peace ...but Northern Ireland is preparing for G8 summit troublemakers

GENEVA - JUNE 2:  A couple kiss near a phalanx of German riot police June 2, 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland ahead of that year's G8 summit, the first since the war on Iraq. As the G8 comes to Lough Erne, Fermanagh next week, security is being significantly stepped up at sites around Northern Ireland as protests are expected to take place
GENEVA - JUNE 2: A couple kiss near a phalanx of German riot police June 2, 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland ahead of that year's G8 summit, the first since the war on Iraq. As the G8 comes to Lough Erne, Fermanagh next week, security is being significantly stepped up at sites around Northern Ireland as protests are expected to take place
The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland observes the final G8 security arrangements at the Lough Erne resort outside Enniskillen
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
Perspex on the windows at Belfast City Hall ahead of the G8 that will take place next week at Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Perspex covers have been applied to the Belfast City Hall windows to protect from potential G8 Riots
L'AQUILA, ITALY - JULY 10: Protestors hold banners during a protest against the G8 summit during the third day of the international meeting on July 10, 2009 in L'Aquila, Italy. The talks are being held close to the site of a devastating earthquake in April of this year. The leaders are expected to discuss climate change, global security and the global recession. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
L'AQUILA, ITALY - JULY 10: Protestors hold a banner during a protest against the G8 summit on the third day of the international meeting on July 10, 2009 in L'Aquila, Italy. The talks are being held close to the site of a devastating earthquake in April of this year. The leaders are expected to discuss climate change, global security and the global recession. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
L'AQUILA, ITALY - JULY 10: Demonstrators walk past an eartquake damaged car during a protest against the G8 summit on the third day of the international meeting on July 10, 2009 in L'Aquila, Italy. The talks are being held close to the site of a devastating earthquake in April of this year. The leaders are expected to discuss climate change, global security and the global recession. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
TOKYO - JULY 09: Iranians living in Japan protest against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's win at the Iranian presidential election on July 9, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan. Leaders attending the G8 summit in L'Aquila have expressed serious concern over the aftermath of the Iranian presidential elections and nuclear weapon development. (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)
ROME - JULY 08: A union member shouts slogans during a protest against government policies on July 8, 2009 in Rome. Protests and demonstrations are expected across Italy as world leaders attending the G8 summit are expected to discuss tackling world hunger and the global reduction of greenhouse gases. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
ROME - JULY 07: Protestors throw stones to journalists from a track of Termini station during a protest against a G8 summit on July 7, 2009 in Rome. Protests and demonstrations are expected across Italy as world leaders attending the G8 summit are expected to discuss tackling world hunger and the global reduction of greenhouse gases. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
SOBETSU, JAPAN - JULY 08: Anti-G8 activists joustle with police as they march near the G8 Summit site on July 8, 2008 in Date, Hokkaido, Japan. The G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit is taking place at Lake Toya from July 7. Protesters from all over the world are expected to demonstrate near the area. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
SOBETSU, JAPAN - JULY 08: Anti-G8 activists protest as they march near the G8 Summit site on July 8, 2008 in Date, Hokkaido, Japan. The G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit is taking place at Lake Toya from July 7. Protesters from all over the world are expected to demonstrate near the area. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
SOBETSU, JAPAN - JULY 08: Anti-G8 activists protest as they march near the G8 Summit site on July 8, 2008 in Date, Hokkaido, Japan. The G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit is taking place at Lake Toya from July 7. Protesters from all over the world are expected to demonstrate near the area. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
SAPPORO, JAPAN - JULY 08: Anti-G8 activists march during a rally at the Odori Park on July 8, 2008 in Saporro, Japan. The G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit takes place at Lake Toya from July 7. Protesters from all over the world are expected to demonstrate near the area. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
SAPPORO, JAPAN - JULY 05: Activists march to protest against the G8 Summit at Odori Park on July 5, 2008 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. 5000 people participated in the demonstration where 4 people were arrested. The G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit will take place at Lake Toya from July 7. Protesters from all over the world expect to demonstrate near the area. (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)
SAPPORO, JAPAN - JULY 04: Anti-G8 Summit protesters demonstrate in central Sapporo on July 4, 2008 in Sapporo, Japan. The G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit will take place at Lake Toya from July 7. Protesters from all over the world expect to demonstrate near the area. (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)
SAPPORO, JAPAN - JULY 04: Anti-G8 Summit protesters demonstrate in central Sapporo on July 4, 2008 in Sapporo, Japan. The G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit will take place at Lake Toya from July 7. Protesters from all over the world expect to demonstrate near the area. (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)
TOKYO - JUNE 29: Anti-G8 Protesters demonstrate at Tokyo Shinjuku area on June 29, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan. G8 Toyako Summit takes place from July 7 to 9 in Hokkaido, Japan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)
TOKYO - JUNE 29: Anti-G8 Protesters demonstrate at Tokyo Shinjuku area on June 29, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan. G8 Toyako Summit takes place from July 7 to 9 in Hokkaido, Japan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)
BAD DOBERAN, GERMANY - JUNE 06: A riot policeman kicks an activist of the anti G8 forum Block G8 as they protest in a field on June 06, 2007 near Rethwisch close to Heiligendamm. The activists are protesting against the global politics of the G8 members at the G8 summit from June 06 until June 08 in Heiligendamm (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
BOERGERENDE, GERMANY - JUNE 06: Riot police block the beach near Heiligendamm on June 6, 2007, in Boergerende, Germany. Thousands of G8 opponents continue to stage colourful and peaceful protests against the G8 summit while politicians in Germany have requested tough police action and crackdowns on violent demonstrators following last Saturday's riots that left more than 1,000 injured, according to police figures. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
ROSTOCK, GERMANY - JUNE 05: Demonstrators, disguised as Guantanamo prisonesr protest against torture on June 5, 2007, in Rostock Warnemuende, Germany. Thousands of G8 opponents continue to stage colorful and peaceful protests against the G8 summit while politicians in Germany have requested tough police action and crackdowns on violent demonstrators following last Saturday's riots that left more than 1,000 injured, according to police figures. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
ROSTOCK, GERMANY - JUNE 04: A demonstrator dressed up as a clown talks to riot police during a protest against the migration policies of the G8 states and racism in general on June 4, 2007 in Rostock, Germany. The leaders of G8 nations will meet for a summit at nearby Heiligendamm later in the week, and thousands of protesters have arrived in the area to demonstrate. (Photo by Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 04: A protester clashes with a riot policeman on July 4 2005 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The protest is one of several organised protests that lead up to the G8 Summit which begins on July 6 in Gleneagles (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 04: A protester falls in front of riot police on July 4 2005 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The protest is one of several organised protests that lead up to the G8 Summit which begins on July 6 in Gleneagles (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 04: Protesters fight with police in Princes Street on July 4 2005, Edinburgh, Scotland. The protest is one of several organised protests that lead up to the G8 Summit which takes place on the 6th in Gleneagles. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 4: A protesters is detained by police officers on Princes Street on July 4 2005 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The protest is one of several organised protests that lead up to the G8 Summit which begins on July 6 in Gleneagles. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 4: A protesters waves a flower at police officers on Princes Street on July 4 2005 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The protest is one of several organised protests that lead up to the G8 Summit which begins on July 6 in Gleneagles. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 04: Police confront protesters on Princes Street July 4 2005 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The protest is one of several organised protests that lead up to the G8 Summit which begins on July 6 in Gleneagles. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 04: Police confront protesters on Princes Street July 4 2005 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The protest is one of several organised protests that lead up to the G8 Summit which begins on July 6 in Gleneagles. (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 02: Protestors march during the Make Poverty History protest march on July 2, 2005, Edinburgh, Scotland. Scotland's capital city hosted thousands of protesters who are aiming to surround the city in a ring of white ahead of The G8 Summit to call on world leaders to write off debt. All police leave has been cancelled to cope with the expected 250,000 protestors taking part in the Make Poverty History march. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 26: Police officers hold back demonstrators protesting the G8/G20 summits June 26, 2010 in Toronto, Canada. Store windows were smashed and a police car set on fire during the protest which was one of several planned in the city to coincide with the gathering of world leaders for the G20 and G8 summits being held in Toronto and nearby Muskoka June 25-27. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 26: Demonstrators protest against the G8/G20 summits June 26, 2010 in Toronto, Canada. Store windows were smashed and a police car set on fire during the protest which was one of several planned in the city to coincide with the gathering of world leaders for the G20 and G8 summits being held in Toronto and nearby Muskoka June 25-27. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 26: A police officer chases a girl during protest against the G8/G20 summits in Queen's Park June 26, 2010 in Toronto, Canada. The protestors were forced by police from the park back into the downtown streets. Earlier in the day store windows were smashed and a police car set on fire during a protest which was one of several planned in the city to coincide with the gathering of world leaders for the G20 and G8 summits being held in Toronto and nearby Muskoka June 25-27. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 26: Demonstrators head into the downtown streets after being pushed out of Queen's Park by police during the G20 summit June 26, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Store windows were smashed and a police car set on fire during the protest which was one of several planned in the city to coincide with the gathering of world leaders for the G20 and G8 summits being held in Toronto and nearby Muskoka June 25-27. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 26: Police officers hold back demonstrators protesting the G8/G20 summits June 26, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Store windows were smashed and a police car set on fire during the protest which was one of several planned in the city to coincide with the gathering of world leaders for the G20 and G8 summits being held in Toronto and nearby Muskoka June 25-27. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 26: Police officers push back and use their battons to strike demonstrators protesting the G8/G20 summits on June 26, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Store windows were smashed and a police car set on fire during the protest which was one of several planned in the city to coincide with the gathering of world leaders for the G20 and G8 summits being held in Toronto and nearby Muskoka from June 25-27. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 26: Police officers arrest a demonstrator who was protesting the G8/G20 summits on June 26, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Store windows were smashed and a police car set on fire during the protest which was one of several planned in the city to coincide with the gathering of world leaders for the G20 and G8 summits being held in Toronto and nearby Muskoka from June 25-27. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 25: Police officers hold back demonstrators protesting the G8/G20 summits June 25, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The protest was one of several planned in the city to coincide with the gathering of world leaders for the G20 and G8 summits being held in Toronto and nearby Muskoka June 25-27. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 25: Demonstrators protesting the G8/G20 summits march though downtown June 25, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The protest was one of several planned in the city to coincide with the gathering of world leaders for the G20 and G8 summits being held in Toronto and nearby Muskoka June 25-27. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
TORONTO - JUNE 25: Hundreds of demonstrators march near the campus of the University of Toronto on the eve of the G20 Summit June 25, 2010 in Toronto, Canada. June 25, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The protests come amid heavy police presence as G8 world leaders met today, with G20 finance ministers meeting tomorrow. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Parliament Buildings at Stormont will have round-the-clock guards during the G8 conference

Isolation has proven a key factor in the selection of sites for G8 summits in recent years.

Since the violence which marked the events in Edinburgh in 2005 and Genoa in Italy in 2001, locations which can be effectively sealed off by security have increasingly been chosen.

Thus the choice of the Lough Erne Resort in Co Fermanagh and the six-metre high fence erected around the main road leading to where the G8 leaders assemble a week from today.

The 'Fortress Fermanagh' fence – estimated to have cost around £4m – went up just over a week ago and is expected to remain in place for a fortnight following the two-day event. Up to 1,000 anti-capitalist and anarchist protesters are said to attempt to turn up at all G8 and G20 events. At least some of that number are expected in Belfast and Enniskillen, along with local protesters.

Police are thought to be keeping an eye on ports and airports for known troublemakers. While the vast majority of people in the demonstrations are expected to be peaceful, it only takes a hard core of people intent on violence to cause chaos.

The largest G8 protest is expected to be in Belfast next Saturday. While the PSNI won't give the numbers they may have to deal with, it's expected that tens of thousands will arrive in the city.

Two marches are planned for Enniskillen next Monday – the first day of the summit – one by the trade union Unite the Union and a second by People before Profit which are expected to be joined by anti-fracking groups.

One group of protesters expected in Fermanagh for the summit is known as the Clown Army, whose members dress in combat gear and clown wigs.

Superintendent Alan Barton said: "They come along on occasions with colourful wigs or tickle sticks and they will engage with the local community or with the police on duty at the event. They will seek the publicity in order to raise the issue they are campaigning in respect of."

Police are expecting anywhere from a few thousand to 15,000 protesters in Enniskillen. People can expect to see police in riot gear, dog handlers and Land Rovers. Water cannon will also be on hand, as well as helicopters and boats. An unmanned aerial drone would also be available.

In the event of arrests, the former Lisanelly army barracks near Omagh will also be used as a temporary holding centre.

Justice Minister David Ford (below) said: "It would be very foolish if we did not plan for the potential of significant trouble."

Lisanelly could hold up to 300 people while Maghaberry Prison in Co Antrim has 108 cells and could accommodate a further 200 prisoners.

There have been violent scenes at G8 summits in the past sparked by anti-capitalist groups. In July 2001, during a summit in Genoa there was violence and a 23-year-old demonstrator was shot and killed by police.

Four years later in Edinburgh around 200,000 marchers took part in the Make Poverty History campaign. While largely peaceful, 200 protesters breached a fence surrounding the hotel where the summit was held. Around 700 arrests were made.

This year thousands of people are expected to join peaceful protests supporting the anti-hunger Enough Food For Everyone campaign which has been organised by groups like Oxfam and Trocaire.

About 15,000 people are expected to attend a music festival in Botanic Gardens in Belfast.

Organiser Dan Scofield said it was important to differentiate between those going to this event and protesters intent on causing violence.

"We 100% want to distance ourselves from any violent protests. We are looking at a family-friendly event for people to have their voices heard," he said.

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