Sunday Life

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Lockdown: Countdown to the G8

An anti-G8 rally in Belfast passed off peacefully amid a dramatic security operation.

Fears that extremists were planning to hijack the trade union-organised event and spark trouble proved unfounded as the demonstration took place without incident ahead of the G8 summit in Fermanagh.

While 5,000 protesters were expected to take part in the rally, in the end the total was closer to 1,500.

Rain poured down almost constantly as trade union and environmentalist demonstrators, advocating a range of both local and global issues, marched through the city centre ahead of the rally at City Hall.

The march clashed with around 100 union flag protesters who were outside City Hall for their weekly picket. Flag protesters shouted verbal abuse at some members of the G8 rally, but the two groups were kept well apart by hundreds of police officers.

A ring of steel was thrown around Belfast city centre as police drafted in from across the UK stood guard at landmarks as the march passed.

Scores of officers flanked McDonalds on Donegall Place, which had been named as a potential target by protesters.

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Belfast Telegraph