Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Protester's Union flag display at Belfast City Hall gates ends in his arrest

A lone flag protester is arrested by police
A lone flag protester is arrested by police

A lone protester has been arrested after waving a Union flag while sitting on a pillar outside Belfast City Hall.

Police arrived at the scene to find the man sitting on the pillar singing and waving the flag.

When he was asked to get down he did so but was heard shouting: "No surrender".

Before climbing up onto the pillar, police had been alerted that a man had been behaving in a disorderly fashion at 1.44pm, in Donegall Place. They were on the scene within five minutes. The 21-year-old was arrested shortly after 2.30pm for disorderly behaviour and disorderly conduct.

A PSNI spokesman said a youth aged 17 was also arrested in relation to a public order offence while the man was on the pillar. They said the circumstances are being reported to the Public Prosecution Service.

Loyalists have held scores of protests at City Hall after Belfast City Council voted in December 2012 to stop flying the Union flag 365 days a year.

It now flies only on designated days.

The vote resulted in riots and protests on the streets of Belfast and across other parts of Northern Ireland.

The protests petered out over time, with only a few sporadic ones now taking place.

Reacting to the news, loyalist activist Jamie Bryson, who has been a leading figure in the protests, tweeted: "Well done to the patriot taking his stand at City Hall. PSNI traitors to the Union flag!"

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