Mostly business as usual

Today saw a rally at Belfast City Hall mainly organised by Community Workers ‘against sectarianism and in solidarity with the McDaid family and Damien Fleming’. They said they had organised the event after expectations that those normally involved in calling such rallies would act were not met. The turnout (circa 500) was greatly down on that of the recent rally after the killings of two soldiers and a PSNI officer. The number of city workers enjoying lunch and the sun in the grounds of City Hall seemed to outweigh those protesting. Much of our political class also found something else to do and it seemed as if some anarchists had the largest numbers present after SF. The police decided to keep the road open throughout the event and the people that spilled out into the first lane of traffic could barely hear speeches over the buses, cars and taxis rushing past. At one point a police officer shouted at people on the road to stand in. This prompted one woman to ask him why he wasn’t stopping the traffic, his reply of “I’m not bringing the City to a standstill” didn’t seem to impress her and she retorted “Why is this not important enough?” his angry response of “Sure aren’t I facilitating you” met with bewildered looks. Then the rally broke up and people rejoined those who had decided to do something else.

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