I write this post even as our offices in Carrickfergus are being burned out by a loyalist mob.
Never in Alliance's history has it faced such an unprecedented challenge, this is not an issue regarding the economy, or civil rights nor is it something that Alliance has done badly.
No, the challenge we face is the outcome of standing by our principles in the face of incredible adversity and threats of violence.
I have received abuse and condemnation in its lowest, most ugly form from people who claim to represent 'Protestants of East Belfast.'
I have news for you, I am a Protestant from east Belfast, I come from a working class, loyalist-Unionist community and somehow I, like the majority of others in my community, manage to avoid behaving like a criminal and animal.
This is no longer about a flag.
Burning down Stewart Dickson's offices in Carrick will not lend legitimacy or draw rational supporters to your cause. We will not be brow beaten, bullied or intimidated for what we believe and for staying the course.
Where are the Unionist politicians now? Where is Cllr Christopher Stalford who had oh so much to say about Alliance before Monday night? Where is Peter Robinson MLA, the man who talks of opening the arms of Unionism to Catholics and moderates?
I understand and I encourage protest, that is how democracy works, as long as it is peaceful. Intimidating our Councillors into leaving their homes, burning down the offices of our MLAs and Ministers and sending sectarian abuse over Twitter to our supporters is not 'engaging in the debate', it's mob mentality.
This is not a protest, this is criminality and barbarism. You just lost the argument.
Stephen Donnan is a community and voluntary worker and an Alliance Party activist. This article originally appeared at stevedonnan.com