Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Are we about to relive 1960s flag protests?

DOES anyone else see a repeat of the 1960s? Who remembers flag protests in 1966, with people protesting at the flag in a window of the Falls Road – arguably one of the foundations of 40 years of growing intolerance?

We saw 'legitimate', but intimidating, protests against people going to ecumenical services.

We saw partially informed criticism of policing, we saw jeering at 'the other side', we saw political rudeness, aggression, negativity.

We didn't see constructive political leadership when unrest had been fomented.

We watched the disintegration of society as people capitalised on political stagnation and whipping-up of fear.

Too many good people retired into their own shells; hence we have a society underperforming in too many arenas, increasingly dependent on Westminster and European money to survive.

Are we going to allow this to be repeated?

CLLR TOM EKIN (Alliance)

Belfast City Council

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