PSNI officers could be refused to be served over union flag row

PSNI officers could be refused to be served over union flag row

EXCLUSIVE: POLICE officers could feel the full brunt of loyalist anger in the New Year as the Union flag protest moves into a new gear.

Belfast Daily understands those organising street protests want shops to refuse to serve police officers while on duty.

And even officers who live in Protestant areas for security reasons could also be refused in their local stores along with members of their families.

Some 60 police officers have been injured during three weeks of trouble after Belfast City Council voted by 29-21 to fly the Union Jack on only 17 designated days.

In one of the most serious incidents, a 15 strong masked loyalist gang attacked a female PSNI officer guarding over the east Belfast constituency office of Alliance Party MP Naomi Long.

Windows were smashed with iron bars and a petrol bomb was thrown inside the silver Skoda Octavia car in which she was sitting.

The female officer cheated death in the pre-planned attack. The incident is now being treated as attempted murder.

A senior loyalist source told the Belfast Daily that the Union flag protest was now moving into what was called ‘Plan B’ stage.

The next protest is planned for Saturday, January 5 at Belfast City Hall.

“The details of Plan B are being kept very tight but let’s just say the New Year will see a much more militant protest on the street,” said the senior loyalis source.

“As far as many loyalists are concerned, the PSNI is doing the dirty work of Sinn Fein.

“Many Protestants who have come out onto the streets to voice their anger believe it is time for the PSNI to be disbanded.

“In working class Protestant areas it is now seen as sectarian and pro-republican.

“In the New Year, the first step will be that shops will be urged to refuse to serve PSNI officers. People want the police to feel isolated in Protestant/loyalist areas.

“After that things will be become much more militant. It could be a throwback to the Anglo-Irish Agreement.”

Following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in November 1985, RUC officers felt the full brunt of loyalist anger.

However, that anger spiralled out of control when the homes of RUC officers were burned to the ground.

Former RAF pilot Jonny Harvey

Former RAF pilot Jonny Harvey

The street recent protests were the brainchild of the Ulster Protestant Voice (UPV) led by former RAF sergeant Jonny Harvey.

However, the movement has expanded and grown and other grass roots groups have joined the protest.

Belfast Daily revealed last week that former FAIR director Willie Frazer is co-ordinating plans to set up a rival to the Unionist Forum, the brainchild of DUP leader Peter Robinson and UUP leader Mike Nesbitt following discussions with UDA leader Jackie McDonald and other groups.

No date has yet been set for the first meeting of the Unionist Forum but already loyalists involved in the flag protest are sceptical that it can deliver for grassroot Protestants.

Belfast Daily obtained a copy of a message Mr Frazer posted to his followers on Facebook urging them to back his idea of ‘The People’s Forum’.

It is expected to meet in the New Year and will aim to co-ordinate protests the province.

Mr Frazer’s message read: “Well done to all the areas that protested….once again you have done Ulster proud.

“I would urge you all to get organised in your area and nominate a few people to come along and represent you at “The peoples forum”. (sic)

Willie Frazer setting up 'The People's Forum'

Willie Frazer setting up ‘The People’s Forum’

“Note this is absolutely nothing to do with the DUP or UUPs so called forum of which we have no interest to communicating with at this time.

“This is a true peoples forum, by the people for the people. When it’s been established then the politicians can come and meet us when we will out line what we think is the best way forward and how we wish them to represent us.

“It’s obvious that they simply don’t know what to do at this time. The five senior politicians met yesterday for seven hours and come up with four lines.

“Well, firstly, McGuinnees will have no say in what Loyalism believes to be right or wrong so he shouldn’t even have been involved.

“Secondly. it’s nothing but unbelievable that the DUP and UUP can’t work out what to do, any of us could tell them in an instant what our concerns are.

“I personally feel they will never want to talk to any one from grass roots loyalism simply because they couldn’t answer our questions to them.

“They have got themselves into such a mess with all these “shared space agendas” and so called cross community initiatives that their hands are tied. They cant deliver what most loyalist want.

“At this time their best hope is that we get fed up and simply stop. That wont happen.

“We are demanding, equality, justice and our basic human rights as citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This is non-negotiable.

“Please note I am not in control or leading this. It belongs to the people and everyone is equal.

“I, with others all across Ulster, are merely co-ordinating the project which will give you all a voice, a voice that has been neglected for far to long. More information will be available over the next few days.

“United we stand.”



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