CS Gas for Junior Orange, Kid Gloves for Republicans

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“The emergence of video footage of what happened at the parade on Tuesday has done nothing to allay concerns within the Unionist community. Quite the reverse. The footage we have seen to date would appear to substantiate claims that the PSNI response was grossly disproportionate to anything the officer may have seen.

“Coming as it did just days after masked men were permitted to parade openly in our streets to celebrate the Easter Rising, Unionists throughout Northern Ireland are asking serious questions of the PSNI.

“It seems CS gas and batons can be used on people in a Junior Orange parade but there is a kid glove approach when it comes to masked Republicans.

“Across the Province events to celebrate the Easter Rising saw the glorification of terrorism and a celebration of criminals who visited death and destruction upon many homes in Ulster. In Fermanagh the chairman of the council even laid a wreath at a Sinn Fein/IRA event while wearing his chain of office. So much for representing all the people of the council!

“In other areas we have seen tricolours erected outside a Protestant church and a huge one erected across a war memorial. There was no robust PSNI response to those incidents.

“While an Ombudsman’s investigation is ongoing it is imperative that the PSNI do more to convince us that all are equal under the law and equally subject to the law. That certainly isn’t the perception at the moment.”

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