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Rallies will heighten tensions - Kelly

1 October, 2014 - by Gerry Kelly

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has hit out at plans by the Orange Order and political unionism to bring people on to the streets as part of the so-called graduated response. 

Speaking after the announcement of rallies in protest at the Parades Commission decision on a section of an Orange Order parade in North Belfast, Mr Kelly said; 

"We need less parades in the North, not more. 

"This move can only heighten tensions and is part of a unionist effort to undermine the Parades Commission and put pressure on the British Secretary of State to reward intransigence.

"Clearly the DUP, Orange Order and their allies in negative unionism, which includes loyalist paramilitary groups, are more concerned about one parade than entering into genuine negotiations to resolve the outstanding issues around parades, flags and the past. 

"In the past when unionist leaders have called people out on to the streets we have seen a descent into street violence.

"There is a responsibility on the organisers to ensure that any rallies or public demonstrations are peaceful."

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