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SDLP McDevitt: Protest organisers must be held responsible for violence


(?January 05, 2013, UK, Refugee News Network )-SDLP policing spokesperson Conall McDevitt has condemned further violence in East Belfast on Friday night following continuing flag protests and said that those organising the demonstrations on social media must be held fully responsible for the resultant violence.

The South Belfast MLA said people should reflect strongly upon whether they wish to be associated with protests that are being hijacked by those who are intent on violence.

He said: ?First of all, the SDLP condemns the continued violence in East Belfast on Friday night, following on from the previous night, and we express full solidarity with the injured police officers.

?Those organising these protests on social media must bare full responsibility for the violence that has ensued and must be fully held to account for violence that is continuing to take place.

?I appeal for calm today and over the weekend and ask people taking part in protests to reflect upon the violence and ask themselves if they want to be associated with that violence and if that is the best way that they feel they can have their voice heard.

?Nobody is in doubt that some paramilitaries are exploiting these illegal protests to destabilise the situation and ultimately bring violence back onto our streets.

?Those organising these demonstrations cannot abdicate responsibility for what then occurs.?

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