The first day of the conflict came on March 29, when agents were attacked after they tried to separate a crowd of about 40 people. During the next five nights, similar incidents occurred across Londonderry.
By that time, the demonstrations had spread to the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast, where one of the protests ended with another attack on the police. 15 workers were left with burns and other injuries. Most of the protesters are young men, after having participated in children’s protests since the age of 12, according to police authorities.
Last Wednesday, in Belfast, the clashes were between two national protesters Loyal, Which ended up bypassing the so-called “peace line,” which is a wall separating majority neighborhoods that are independent of the nationalists. Police were forced to intervene and count more than 600 people at the scene.
The next day, Police cars were stoned on the national side of the wall, Forcing customers to disperse the crowd with the help of dogs and water cannons.
The cause of all these clashes was the funeral of Bobby Story, the former head of the IRA, a former paramilitary organization that was fighting to end British power in the territory and reunify Ireland.
At the funeral last summer, Around two thousand people will have violated the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic To honor Story. The latest protests began the week in which authorities revealed that Sinn Fein leaders had not been charged for taking part in the funeral.
There were also those who suggested that paramilitary groups supporting Northern Ireland’s survival in the United Kingdom were responsible for the violence in the protests, after the police dismantled the drug trafficking networks that these groups would be a part of. But this theory was denied on Saturday by the police themselves.
“[A violência] It was not orchestrated by a group on behalf of that group.The Northern Ireland Police Service (PSNI) explained. “There are definitely people involved in the violence who have nothing to do with any illegal organization.”
Brexit was also the source of the protests
The protests come at a time of heightened tension over the Brexit deal. In the context of the negotiations on the UK’s exit from the European Union, all parties agreed that any future agreement would respect the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol, A peace agreement also known as the Good Friday Agreement, the signing of which yesterday marked 23 years.
The agreement in question marked the end of violent conflicts in Northern Ireland that lasted from the late 1960s to 1998, between nationalists and Loyal.
Although Prime Minister Boris Johnson included it in 2019 “Under no circumstances will there be border controls with Northern Ireland, regarding the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement.”, This did not happen completely.
After Brexit, a new agreement was implemented: the Northern Ireland Protocol, under which there are borders De facto In the Irish Sea, which makes the goods entering this country from Great Britain subject to European Union controls.
Boris Johnson this week met with Michel Martin, the head of the government of Northern Ireland (a position known as Taoiseach), to discuss the recent violence.
Affirming that violence is unacceptable, [os dois líderes] Call for calm, “a statement issued by the Taoiseach office said. “The way forward is dialogue and work with the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement.”, he added.
This Saturday, Martin made another call. “We owe it to the generation of agreement and the generations that Let’s not go back to this dark place of murder and political squabbles“.