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Former BNP fundraiser speaks at demonstration

A FORMER fundraiser for the British National Party in Scotland addressed a protest in north Belfast on Tuesday in support of the Union Flag at Belfast City Hall.

Jim Dowson was the main speaker at the protest which took place at Cambrai Street in the Woodvale area yesterday evening.

Protests also took place across the city, including at Hesketh on the Crumlin Road, Templemore Avenue in east Belfast, Twaddell Avenue at the Ardoyne roundabout and outside Belfast in Lambeg and Lurgan.

The Upper Malone Road between the House of Sport roundabout and Dub Lane and the Donegall Road between Glenmachan Street and Donegall Avenue were both closed for a time during the evening rush hour due 
to protests.

Protests have been taking place since Belfast City Council last month voted to fly the Union Flag at Belfast City Hall on designated days only.

Protestors are demanding the restoration of the previous council policy to fly the flag all year round, instead of the new policy whereby it is flown on 20 statutory days each year.

The flag was previously flown on statutory days from the Ulster Hall and Belfast City Council offices at Duncrue but has now been completely removed from those buildings.

The DUP has submitted a legal challenge to the decision.

Councillor Lee Reynolds also proposed that the flag be flown all year round at the cenotaph within the grounds of City Hall. This is currently being considered.

Violence has followed some of the flag protests but the majority have been peaceful.

However, to date 101 police officers have been injured during the rioting, one of whom remains in hospital.

There have been 112 arrests in connection with the disorder.

Protestors on Tuesday declared their intention to stage a demonstration outside the BBC buildings in Belfast at 7pm on Wednesday in opposition to the Radio Ulster’s The Nolan Show.

Meanwhile, a 40-year-old man was arrested in Bangor yesterday in connection with criminal damage at a house in the Carnalea area on December 5, when paint was thrown at a house and the front living room window was broken.

The man is currently assisting police with their inquiries.

It is understood that the arrest relates to the attack on the home of Alliance councillors Michael and Christine Bower.

Credit: Belfast Newsletter

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