Northern Ireland Goes Through Another Rough “Twelfth”
Violent protests occurred in Northern Ireland on Tuesday as the Protestant Orange Order went on the annual parade through town to celebrate the 17th-century victory over the Catholics, a celebration that is deemed as provocative by the Catholics, and receives every time a steady response from them.
Police had to fire plastic bullets and to use powerful water canons to move the Catholic protestors from the Belfast road the Protestants usually walk on their annual parade.
Catholic youths attacked the police forces both before and after the passing of the members of the Orange Order.
Many of them covered their face with masks and hoods, and engaged in street battles with the police on the streets of Ardoyne, an Irish hard-line nationalist enclave.
Police reported that several members of the force were injured, and smaller riots, and sporadic burning of hijacked cars were spotted in other Catholic parts of Northern Ireland.
“The Twelfth,” as the state celebration is called in Northern Ireland, is a national holiday loathed by most Catholics, which outlines the deep wounds that have not been healed, not even after the 1998 peace accord.
Protestant loyalists, who want the Northern Ireland to continue to be a part of the United Kingdom, have fought the Catholics, who want the province to be united with the rest of Ireland, for three decades, in what is called in the region “The Troubles.”
The politicians from both sides asked the population to respect the celebration and not to cause any trouble.
The protest of the Catholic youths went on until night. Usually those who are injured in these riots do not check into hospitals because if they did, they would be arrested by the police there.11