POLICE have thrown a neckless of steel around Belfast city centre as an anti-internment rally by republicans gets underway.
The parade has left the Ardoyne district in Belfast and will pass through Belfast’s main shopping precincts.
Castlecourt shopping centre in Royal Avenue is closed due to the parade.
There are also a series of road closures.
This year’s republican march has been organised by the Anti-Internment League, to mark the introduction of detention without trial during the height of the Troubles.
The league has told the Parades Commission that it expects 4,000 people to take part in the march, with a similar number of supporters.
Loyalists are objecting to the parade that marks the anniversary of internment in August 1971.
At the same event last year, 56 officers were injured when loyalists protesters attacked the police.
The police have advised motorists that there will be traffic disruption.
Drivers are asked to avoid High Street, Royal Avenue, North Street, Millfield, Carrick Hill, Donegall Street, Castle Street and Frederick Street.
These roads are closed to traffic between 1 pm and 2.30 pm.
The Westlink and Dunbar Link will remain open and diversions will be in place.
Loyalist protesters have applied to stage two counter-demonstrations against the march, which is due to pass along Belfast’s main shopping district.
The Parades Commission has placed restrictions on the number of loyalists permitted to attend the protests, limiting them to total of 400 people at two demonstration points.