Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Why peaceful protest at the G8 summit must be allowed

Martin McGuinness
Martin McGuinness

It is good to hear the police acknowledging their duty to accommodate peaceful protest during the G8 summit in Enniskillen later this month.

The eyes of the world will be focused on Northern Ireland and it is essential that the summit goes ahead in an orderly manner.

We need to show that we are capable of hosting major events without losing the run of ourselves.

The world's leaders need to go away with the impression that this is a good place to visit and invest in.

The leaders also need to hear the voices of those who are concerned about the problems of the world.

Martin McGuinness, the deputy First Minister, listed some of the challenges facing world leaders when he said: "Our world is very unequally divided. Poverty, disease and conflict is rampant.

"The leaders of the G8 countries need to find solutions to the economic crisis that faces the world and also to resolve the very grave situation in the Middle East."

Poverty and the fear of war, or war itself, are daily realities affecting most of the world's population.

In a democracy, it is a sign of normality that these concerns can be peacefully, but forcefully, expressed.

It will play very badly abroad if it is suppressed, or driven off the streets.

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