•   
  •   
  •   

World Emergency Stormont meeting after night of violence

13:10  08 april  2021
13:10  08 april  2021 Source:   bbc.com

Northern Ireland riots: Bus torched in more Belfast violence as British and Irish leaders call for calm

  Northern Ireland riots: Bus torched in more Belfast violence as British and Irish leaders call for calm Parts of Northern Ireland saw their sixth consecutive night of violence Wednesday as unionists and nationalists clashed with police and each other. © Charles McQuillan/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images Rioters clash at the Peace Gate at the Springfield Road/Lanark Way interface on April 7, 2021 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Unrest first broke out last week amid rising tensions relating to Brexit and unionist anger over a decision by police not to prosecute leaders of the Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein for allegedly breaking coronavirus restrictions during the funeral of a former leading IRA figure.

An emergency meeting of Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive will take place on Thursday morning after a night of violence in west Belfast.

During several hours of rioting police officers were attacked, petrol bombs were thrown and a bus was burnt.

The Police Federation said seven officers were injured during the violence on both sides of an interface between loyalist and nationalist areas.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the scenes "deeply concerned" him.

It was likely that paramilitary organisations were involved in the disorder, according to Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Assistant Chief Constable Jonathan Roberts.

Biden's gun actions could have a positive, if limited, impact, experts say

  Biden's gun actions could have a positive, if limited, impact, experts say While Biden's moves could chip away at gun violence, there is no substitute for congressional action, they say.The move was one of several executive actions Biden rolled out last week, which he signaled he would pursue in the wake of the shootings in Boulder and the Atlanta area last month.

He said several hundred people on each side were throwing petrol bombs in both directions in the loyalist Shankill Road and the nationalist Springfield Road.

Police officers were called in from other parts of Northern Ireland to help to deal with the rioting.

It was the sixth night of violence, a period during which 55 police officers have been injured.

The bus driver whose double-decker was attacked and burned is "very shaken by the incident but is physically unhurt", according to the public transport provider Translink.

  Emergency Stormont meeting after night of violence © BBC

Today is a chance for Stormont politicians to strike the right tone.

Words matter in politics, particularly in Northern Ireland right now where there are so many conflicting views and opinions that have led to an escalation of tensions.

Wisconsin Supreme Court rules governor exceeded authority with mask mandate, emergency orders

  Wisconsin Supreme Court rules governor exceeded authority with mask mandate, emergency orders The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Gov. Tony Evers (D) exceeded his authority with some of his COVID-19 emergency orders, including instituting a statewide mask mandate.The state Supreme Court issued a 4-3 decision against two of Evers's executive orders issued last year that extended the public health emergency beyond its original 60-day limit.The majority opinion, written by Justice Brian Hagedorn, cited state law that requires the governor to receive legislative approval to lengthen any public health emergency, including the mask mandate.

The fact that executive ministers will meet on Thursday morning is a sign they recognise the escalation in disorder requires a united response.

But it is hard to know how they intend to manage this together when they have not been on the same page about why the violence has been happening.

It is hoped the assembly recall will present an opportunity to restore calm - privately some ministers say they fear now this has started it will be very difficult to stop.

The UK and Irish governments may seek to step up their efforts as well, given the calls for political leadership on all sides.

But with the political atmosphere so febrile, moving back from the brink could pose a real challenge.

All of the main political parties in Northern Ireland have criticised the disorder but they are divided over its causes.

It has been blamed on loyalist frustration about a decision not to prosecute people who attended the large-scale funeral of senior republican figure last summer, as well as concerns about the part of the Brexit deal directly relating to Northern Ireland.

Biden action on guns draws praise, skepticism

  Biden action on guns draws praise, skepticism President Biden on Thursday rolled out a series of executive actions aimed at addressing gun violence that earned plaudits from advocacy groups and Democrats, but skepticism remains about whether they will lead to meaningful change.Anti-gun-violence groups, lawmakers and people who have lost loved ones in mass shootings were overwhelmingly supportive of Biden's six-pronged approach to curbing gun violence, saying it was long overdue for a president to take matters into their own hands."President Biden's actions and the agenda that he outlined will tangibly affect gun violence in all of its forms.

Unionist political leaders - including Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader and First Minister Arlene Foster - have said PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne should resign over the force's handling of the funeral.

Mrs Foster said she has not spoken to Mr Byrne in the wake of the violence.

However, DUP MLA Mervyn Storey, who also sits on the Policing Board, said a meeting between the party and the chief constable would take place today after an approach by Mr Byrne.

"The chief constable has reached out to us this morning as he I understand will do to others," he said.

Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader Steve Aiken and Policing Board member Mike Nesbitt will also meet the chief constable, party sources have said.

a traffic light that is on fire: A bus was set on fire during the violence © Reuters A bus was set on fire during the violence

On Thursday the Stormont assembly is being recalled for politicians to consider a motion calling for an "immediate and complete end" to violence in loyalist areas.

The motion brought by Alliance Party asks assembly members to unequivocally condemn those involved and support the rule of law.

Dramatic Pictures and Videos Show Worst Unrest in Northern Ireland Since Good Friday Agreement

  Dramatic Pictures and Videos Show Worst Unrest in Northern Ireland Since Good Friday Agreement A bus was hijacked and set on fire in West Belfast on Wednesday as Northern Ireland has experienced a week of widespread unrest.A bus was hijacked and set on fire Wednesday in one of many instances of violence due to tensions mounting over Brexit and fueled by clashes between British protestant loyalist communities and Irish nationalist Catholics, according to the Associated Press, as they attacked each other and law enforcement.

Leaders of the main political parties in Northern Ireland have condemned Wednesday night's violence, as has Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin.

"Now is the time for the two governments and leaders on all sides to work together to defuse tensions and restore calm," he wrote on social media.

Mr Johnson said: "The way to resolve differences is through dialogue, not violence or criminality."

https://twitter.com/BorisJohnson/status/1379895030077394950

In recent days 10 people have been arrested as a result of rioting by gangs of people, some as young as 13.

Unionist leaders have attributed the violence to the decision not to prosecute Sinn Féin members attending the funeral of republican Bobby Storey in June 2020.

It was attended by 2,000 mourners - including Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill, the Sinn Féin vice-president - at a time when Covid-19 restrictions were in place.

Unionist leaders have also linked the violence to simmering loyalist tensions over the Irish Sea border imposed as a result of the UK-EU Brexit deal.

Mrs Foster described the violence as "an embarrassment to Northern Ireland".

a fire pit with smoke coming out of it: Cars were hijacked and burnt at the gates of an interface area in west Belfast © PA Media Cars were hijacked and burnt at the gates of an interface area in west Belfast

"These actions do not represent unionism or loyalism. They... only serve to take the focus off the real law breakers in Sinn Féin," she posted on social media.

Here’s what to do if you witness or experience anti-Asian harassment

  Here’s what to do if you witness or experience anti-Asian harassment According to a global anti-harassment organization, only 25% of people surveyed said that someone intervened when they were being harassed.And those are just the statistics; accounts of the events themselves are even more chilling. On March 31, a man who was on lifetime parole for fatally stabbing his mother in 2002 was arrested on two charges of assault in the second degree after repeatedly stomping on and kicking a 65-year-old Filipino American woman in New York City in broad daylight.

Sinn Féin, the SDLP, and the Alliance Party have accused unionist politicians of ramping up rhetoric in recent days by calling for Mr Byrne to stand down.

On Wednesday, Mrs Foster repeated her call for Mr Byrne to resign.

a boat on a rainy night: People attacked police with petrol bombs and masonry during the disorder © Reuters People attacked police with petrol bombs and masonry during the disorder

She said she had a duty to speak out about the PSNI's failure to uphold Covid-19 rules at a number of republican funerals over the past year.

The first minister said: "If I meet the chief constable I will simply repeat what I said to him last Tuesday... when I said he had lost the confidence of the unionist community and he should resign."

Mark Lindsay, the chairman of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said removing the chief constable "in the middle of a crisis" would not be helpful, although he said there were "serious issues that need to be addressed".

"The police officers on the ground - to be honest it doesn't have an awful lot of impact on them who their chief constable is - they take their direction from lower down the command chain," he said.

"So it's for politicians to decide and for the chief constable himself to decide."

map: Forty-eight police officers have been hurt and 10 people arrested as a result of trouble in loyalist areas of several towns and cities © BBC Forty-eight police officers have been hurt and 10 people arrested as a result of trouble in loyalist areas of several towns and cities

The assembly recall has the support of the five main Stormont parties and was proposed by Alliance Party leader and Justice Minister Naomi Long.

She hoped the motion would get the Stormont parties to "unite around a call for calm".

It's time to declare a national climate emergency

  It's time to declare a national climate emergency This month, President Biden will convene 40 world leaders to discuss the urgency of climate action and strengthen global cooperation on key climate goals. But before the president takes the global stage at the Leaders Summit on Climate, there's something he should do at home: declare a national climate emergency here in the United States.In recent years, we have seen the effects of the climate crisis, both in our own backyard and around the world. From wildfires raging across Oregon and the West, to hurricanes wreaking havoc in the southeast, and increasing average temperatures everywhere in between, the impacts have been devastating.

She said she felt ill "listening to adults clapping, cheering, goading young children to put their lives at risk" during the violence.

"We need to step up to the plate as political representatives and talk about the political solutions to those problems as well as condemning the violence," she said.

"I think everybody need to be very careful about the language they use because it does have consequences."

Sinn Féin MLA John O'Dowd said there were tensions "across the board".

"People are deeply worried and deeply concerned as to where this is heading," he said.

a close up of a logo © BBC

Did you witness the violence? Do you live in the area? Share your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways:

  • WhatsApp: +44 7756 165803
  • Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
  • Upload pictures or video
  • Please read our terms & conditions and privacy policy

If you are reading this page and can't see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or comment or you can email us at HaveYourSay@bbc.co.uk. Please include your name, age and location with any submission.

UK PM's loose talk on Brexit reverberates in N.Ireland .
In the febrile build-up to Britain's Brexit deal with the European Union, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there would only be a trade border down the Irish Sea "over my dead body". Northern Irish justice minister Naomi Long, of the centrist Alliance Party, noted that Johnson and Lewis "denied the existence of borders, even as those borders were being erected".A de-facto border does exist, however, and what one minister called Johnson's "fantasy" promises to pro-UK unionists in Northern Ireland are back in contention after the territory was convulsed this month by its worst violence in years.

usr: 1
This is interesting!