The attempted murder of a police officer in east Belfast was a revolting assault on the principles of law and order.
It is outrageous that anyone claiming to be a 'loyalist', or to uphold the values represented by the Union flag, would attack - much less try to murder - a policewoman.
This officer was protecting and serving the community when she was targeted, quite deliberately, by a group of deranged extremists.
The community has had enough. These protests and the violence which has been their offshoot should stop immediately.
They are disrupting the social and economic life of our province, they are putting our police force under unacceptable pressure and, if they continue, they will eventually result in loss of life.
The death-threat against Naomi Long must be lifted immediately. Naomi works for her constituents and the threat to an elected representative is disgraceful.
Flags and symbols stir up deep emotions and there are debates to be had about how we accommodate them in an appropriate way.
But the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland should not be held to ransom by a few hundred fanatics. This has to stop, with any further discussions around the flag taking place through the democratic process.
Otherwise, disruption to our communities, damage to our economy and, most seriously, threats to life against police and elected representatives will continue.