All participants in parades must obey the PSNI
Now that the furore has died down over the conflict on the Ormeau Road on Easter Tuesday, it may be a good time to reflect on what is expected from those on parade.
The Parades Commission has produced guidelines - which are available online or in hard copy from the commission.
The present guidelines date from 2005 and are appended to all determinations.
The portions of the guidelines relevant to the events that happened on the Ormeau Road last week are:
1. Public procession - whenever possible, the public procession should be positioned on one side of the carriageway, so as to allow for the free flow of traffic, or as otherwise stipulated by police, and;
2. Policing - organisers of public processions must co-operate with the police from the time of submission of the notice of intention to organise a public procession until the public procession disperses;
The bottom line is that all participants must co-operate with the police.
This means obeying the police, because it is they who have the ultimate responsibility for public safety.
Former member, Parades Commission