[Sinn Fein]

18 August 2000

Shankill loyalist parade organisers should ensure peaceful event

Lower Falls Sinn Fein Councillor Tom Hartley has called on the organisers of tomorrow's (Saturday's) loyalist parade on the Shankill Road to ensure that the event passes off peacefully. Cllr Hartley said:

``The past number of weeks have seen an ever-increasing number of orchestrated attacks by the UDA against nationalists. These attacks have been planned and carried out by prominent UDA members from the Shankill Road area. Some of these same people have been active in organising tomorrow's parade and have called on loyalists and bands from all over to attend.

``This has caused a genuine fear among nationalists in West and North .Belfast. The very real possibility of thousands of loyalists who support the aims of the UDA and LVF, the two groups which have threatened to kill nationalists, is very worrying. Given that the Ulster Democratic Party has now spoken out against these attacks, I call upon both themselves and those who will be stewarding this parade to ensure that this event passes off peacefully, that those attending do not become involved in attacks against nationalists and that they go home peacefully.

``In recent weeks the UDA has tried to engineer a situation whereby it can justify attacks on nationalists. They still have not lifted their threat against nationalists. In light of this, I urge all nationalists to remain extremely vigilant, especially tomorrow.'' ENDS

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