A wave of fierce protests in Northern Ireland brings back the bitter memories of “trouble”


Protesters attacked police with bricks, bottles and petrol bombs, and cars fired in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Friday night Because local anxiety continued for eight consecutive nights.

The latest scene took place in northern Belfast, followed by previous clashes between young rivals in the western part of the city on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Thursday, police used a water cannon for the first time in six years to dissolve protesters gathered on the “peace wall” that separates the Irish nationalist neighborhood from the British Loyalist neighborhood. Belfast officials injured 19 police officers Thursday night, resulting in Injured policeman It has reached 74 in the past week.

On Wednesday evening, protesters throwing petrol bombs gathered fireworks and rocks on either side of the Lanarkway gates. It has the message, “There was no good war or bad peace.” The gate still separates primarily nationalist Catholic Springfield Road from primarily unionist Protestant Shankill Road, serving as a flash point for new violent clashes.

For almost a week, a crowd of Protestant and Catholic youth provoked each other through a gap in the wall, Video footage From a scene show journalist. The rekindled violence that arose from decades-old tensions called “trouble” was partly caused by Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

In addition to widespread anger in Northern Ireland over Brexit’s trade agreement, protests against police and anger over the lack of prosecution against some politicians allegedly broke coronavirus restrictions add fuel to the region’s clashes. Did.

In the Shankill Road district of Belfast on Wednesday, a mob hijacked a double-decker bus, then dropped the bus and rolled down the street.In another incident in the area on the same day, the local press The photographer was attacked His camera equipment was reportedly destroyed.

A police car can be seen behind a hijacked bus burning on Shankill Road as protests continue in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on April 7, 2021. Reuters / Jason Keandaf TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Police cars can be seen behind the hijacked buses burning on Shankill Road as protests continue on Wednesday in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Reuters)

According to police, anxiety on the Lanark Way peace wall involved “equally many on both sides” of the established political division.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Assistant Chief Constable Jonathan Roberts said he believed it was likely that paramilitary organizations were involved and planned a riot. Senior police sources He later stated that there was no evidence to support the claim.

“Last night was a scale that hadn’t been seen in Belfast or Northern Ireland for years.” Roberts told the BBC, Mentions Wednesday night violence.

In a message posted on Twitter on Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Said He was “deeply interested in the scene of violence” in the area.

“The way to resolve the difference is not through violence or crime, but through dialogue,” Johnson said in a tweet.

Northern Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney reiterated concerns from other officials, saying it was a period of “real tension” in the country.

“We need to stop this before anyone is killed or seriously injured,” Coveny said on Thursday when he appeared on the national RTÉ radio show “Morning Ireland.”

“These are scenes that haven’t been seen in Northern Ireland for a long time. Many people thought they were left to history, and I think we need to work together to relieve tensions. “He added.

On April 8, 2021, a fire broke out in front of police on Springfield Road during ongoing protests in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Reuters / Jason Keandaf TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

A fire broke out in front of police on Springfield Road as protests continued in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Thursday. (Reuters)

Northern Ireland went through a peace process in the late 1990s after decades of conflict. Most of the violence was considered to have ended with the Good Friday Agreement signed on April 10, 1998. Since then, violence between Republican and Loyalist factions has been limited to sporadic rekindling.

The main issue of conflict-and the issue that is still divided in the country-is the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. Simply put, unionists and loyalists believe that the country is part of Britain and is usually Protestant, but predominantly Catholic nationalists or Republicans are united in Northern Ireland. I believe it should be part of.

Last week, prosecutors decided not to take action against Irish nationalist Sinn Féin politicians who allegedly broke coronavirus restrictions during the June funeral of Bobby Story, a former major IRA figure. After that, tension increased. At this event, about 2,000 mourners gathered on the streets of western Belfast during a period of severely restricted public gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. The decision disappointed some supporters and solidified their view that state agencies would give preferential treatment to Republican leaders.

Since the UK resolved to withdraw from the European Union in 2016, the uneasy calm has become increasingly diminished. Under the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, a de facto border was created in the Irish Sea, and goods entering Northern Ireland from the mainland of the United Kingdom were subject to EU checks. The lack of a British-Irish border has been seen as an important element of peace since 1998, but new regulations are now offending union members who have accused London of abandoning them. ..

Belfast, Northern Ireland-April 9: On April 9, 2021, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, riots threw Molotov cocktails, fireworks, and stones at police, causing flames and smoke to rise from cars.  & # Xa8; Anxiety was crowded with some Sinn Féin members, in addition to the tensions caused by the Brexit border agreement that resulted in a check of goods shipped between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. It started when I attended the funeral.  & # Xe2; & # xa8; Both Loyalist and nationalist regions were involved in riots in western Belfast.  (Photo by Hasan Esen / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Since Wednesday in Belfast, Northern Ireland, riots have thrown firebombs, fireworks, and stones at police, causing flames and smoke to rise from cars. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, anger at the Police Service of Northern Ireland has spread in a series of recent high-profile arrests and drug trafficking.Unionists point to arrest as further evidence Treatment of “second class” By the authorities.

On Thursday, White House spokesman Jen Psaki addressed a series of recent violence in the area.

“We are concerned about violence in Northern Ireland and are seeking calm with leaders from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Northern Ireland,” said Pusaki.

US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters The Good Friday Agreement must be protected from being a “Victim of Brexit”.

“We are deeply concerned about violence in Northern Ireland and are seeking calm with leaders from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Northern Ireland,” Price said.

“We are, as you said, a strong supporter of safe and prosperous Northern Ireland, where all communities have a say and all communities enjoy the hard-earned benefits of peace. It will continue to be, “he added.

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