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Praise for community protests at disgraceful treatment of Springfield Road residents

26 June, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member Michael Ferguson has congratulated nationalist communities throughout Belfast who came together to block a series of main roads in the city this afternoon to protest at the disgraceful treatment of the Springfield Road community.

Mr Ferguson said:

"This morning nationalist community groups in the city met to discuss their response to the Parades Commission decision to reward the unionist community for threatening the Springfield Road residents with an unwanted parade through their area.

"They decided to block a series of main routes in Belfast to coincide with the blocking of the Springfield Road by the PSNI to facilitate a sectarian parade through that area. The message being sent to the British government is very clear. If nationalist communities are hemmed in and unable to move about their normal business then the same standard will be applied to everyone else.

"Nationalist communities will not be treated as second class. The British government need to understand clearly that the broad nationalist community is not prepared to simply sit back and watch small nationalist areas being besieged by the PSNI to force through unwanted parades.

"The community organisations have made it clear today that the nationalist community will not be walked over by the Parades Commission or anyone else in the coming weeks." ENDS

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