Wednesday was a "Day of Disruption" in Northern Ireland. Civil Rights leaders planned the day?
Wednesday was a "Day of Disruption" in Northern Ireland. Civil Rights leaders planned the day as a protest against six months of internment. The aim was widespread disruption of traffic and communications, coupled with a programme of non-violent protest.
As this B.B.C. coverage shows, the organisers were only partly successful in their aims. There was a smaller overall response than expected. And there was also a return to more accustomed forms of protest when youngsters stoned troops in Belfast's New Lodge district.
Elsewhere in the province, trees were felled to block roads. And in Londonderry, at the site of the shootings two weeks ago, a group of Northern Ireland opposition MPs started a 24-hour vigil.
Wednesday was a "Day of Disruption" in Northern Ireland. Opposition MPs started a vigil at the scene of recent Londonderry shootings, while people filed past to sign a petition.
Main purpose of the day was to disrupt normal life. Felled trees blocked roads; power and telegraph lines were down.
Government offices were pestered by Civil Rights demonstrators who asked time-wasting questions. Did they need a permit to keep a goat? was a favourite question.
In Newry, scene of last weekend's peaceful protest march, main roads had been blocked by cars overnight. Then hooligans set fire to them. More barricades appeared in the town centre.
And in Belfast, demonstrators converged on the Crumlin road jail -- scene of some daring escapes in the past but now no longer used to hold detainees.
The Civil rights organisers had called for their day of protest to be peaceful. But trouble flared up in Belfast's New Lodge area. The day began quietly, however, with demonstrations -- mostly by children. The object of the entire "Day of Disruption" was a protest against six months of internment. But the response was less enthusiastic that the organisers expected.
In the New Lodge area, the protest took a familiar turn as youngsters started pelting police and army with rocks and bottles. The troops finally had to break up the mob with volleys of rubber bullets. There wee a few other isolated incidents.