A MAJOR protest rally against the G8 summit could have a serious knock-on effect to struggling Belfast traders.
Several thousand anti-capitalist protestors are expected to converge on Belfast City Centre next Saturday, June 15 – the busiest day of the week for traders.
Public service union NIPSA is organising the rally to highlight how rich countries treat the world’s poor.
The protest comes just two days before eight of the world’s most powerful leaders visit Co Fermanagh for the summit which is being hosted at the picturesque Lough Erne Golf Resort from Monday, June 17 to Tuesday, June 18.
NISPA official Brian Campfield said: “The intention is that that will be a peaceful demonstration, but it will also give people the chance to vent their anger at the policies of the G8 leaders.”
A massive security operation is being planned for the summit across Northern Ireland to guard over the world’s eight leaders.
But traders in Belfast are bracing themselves fearing shoppers will stay away from the city centre during the protest.
Glyn Roberts of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association said anti-G8 was the last things shop owners needed.
“Many of them have just recovered after months of flag protests.
“We need to ensure that the G8 brings opportunity and not just disruption.”