A mass march of Protestants ended with a rally by thousands of Ulster Defence Association members on the lawns of Northern Ireland's Stormont Parliament buildings this afternoon (Saturday, 30 September).
GV Vanguard members in uniform
SV Craig speaks
LV Flag raised over Stormont
GV Crowd applaud
GV ZOOM IN Flags & officials as anthem is sung
ANDERSON: "It was a massive meeting - ample demonstration of the intensity of the Protestant demand that the province be given back its government with undiminished security powers. Thousands of members of the Ulster Defence Association lined up on the lawns of the Stormont Parliament buildings - which haven't housed a parliament for six months.
"They listened to their leaders, including William Craig, expressing their impatience.
"The Stormont flagpoles were bare at the beginning, but the flags were hoisted when the crowds insisted that this be done. Notable absentee was the Reverend Ian Paisley. He's concerned about the possibility of Protestants like Mr Craig eventually demanding what's called 'an independent British Ulster'. At the end of the day, a final expression of loyalty".
A massive march of Protestants in Belfast on Saturday ended with a rally on the lawns of Northern Ireland's Parliament buildings, at Stormont. The demonstrators - numbering many thousands - wanted to show their determination to have Government by the provincial parliament restored. For the past six months it has been suspended in favour of direct rule from Westminster.
William Craig - leader of the militant Vanguard Movement which organised the demonstration-insisted that his followers wanted a strong Parliament for Ulster within the United Kingdom.
In response to demands by the crowd flagpoles over Stormont - bare at the start of the demonstration had flags hoisted on them....
The parade and rally - which ended with the singing of the National Anthem - were held under the eyes of security forces alert for trouble after a bloody clash in Belfast the day before when three people died. But no incidents were reported...
Initials SGM/0353 AGM/0337
TELERECORDING original colour on 12393/72 49ft
This film carries a sound commentary by BBC reporter Don Anderson over natural sound of the rally. An alternative written commentary is also supplied.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A mass march of Protestants ended with a rally by thousands of Ulster Defence Association members on the lawns of Northern Ireland's Stormont Parliament buildings this afternoon (Saturday, 30 September).
The demonstrators - said by the militant Vanguard Movement organisers to number 60-thousand - wanted to show their determination to get their own provincial parliament back to work, and their continued opposition to the guerrilla campaign of the Irish Republican Army.
Speakers - including William Craig, leader of the Vanguard Movement - said they wanted a strong Parliament within the United Kingdom. Failing that, an independent British Ulster.
But one Protestant leader, the Rev. Ian Paisley, of the Democratic Unionist Party, boycotted the parade, accusing the Vanguard members of advocating a unilateral declaration of independence from Britain.
The parade was held under the eyes of security forces alert for trouble after a bloody clash in Belfast yesterday (Friday, September 29) in which three people died. But no incidents were reported.