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Friday 17th
posted by James Tweedie in World

LOYALIST rioters attacked an old people’s home on Wednesday in the third night of rioting in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

They wrecked the entrance of sheltered housing on the Woodvale Road and hurled bottles and golf balls directly at the premises instead of police because their aim was so bad, according to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Traffic lights were destroyed, burning rubbish piled in the middle of the road and footpaths broken up outside family homes.

Belfast Unemployment Resource Centre chairman Joe Bowers said that the latest spate of violence stemmed from the Orange Order’s decision not to “do the work of the police” by stewarding its own marches, saying: “Some people took this as an opportune time to attack the police.”

Violence first flared on Monday night after police blocked a contentious parade past Ardoyne in north Belfast and riots broke out.

But Mr Bowers traced the origin of the riots to Belfast Council’s decision two years ago to fly the Union Jack from the town hall only on designated days of the year.

Unionist leaders had had some success persuading working-class unionists that “their disadvantage comes from the diminution of their Britishness,” he argued.

But he said: “The working-class people in Northern Ireland who are suffering because of the austerity agenda can only address these problems by uniting with the half a million British people who protested against austerity in Britain.

“That is the Britishness they should emulate.”