Republicans and former British soldiers are set to stage opposing demonstrations in Belfast city centre on Good Friday.
The march by ‘UK Armed Forces veterans’ on Friday, April 14 is calling for an end to investigations of British state killings and war crimes in Ireland.
Other protests have been taking place by the former soldiers in Britain against what they describe as ‘witch hunts’.
One former British soldier, Alan Barry, claimed that the stance of the British government was of “appeasement at all costs”. He insisted British forces in the north of Ireland “open fire in self-defence operating under the direction of the government and the rule of law.”
A similarly provocative parade was organised last January for Derry, but was cancelled at the last minute when Saoradh said it would oppose it. It had planned to take British soliders and their supporters through the same streets where fourteen civil rights protestors were gunned down by British paratroopers on Bloody Sunday 1972.
Saoradh is now calling for a mass mobilisation on Castle Street, in the west of the city centre, while the former British troops hold their protest at nearby Belfast City Hall.
The group expressed disgust at the British soldiers’ protest.
“Justice to the current British government is defined as an amnesty for its war crimes in Ireland,” they said.
Saoradh said momentum was gathering behind their campaign to prevent the British Crown Forces from “rewriting their terrorist campaign of murder in the Six Counties over this past 40 years”.
“The organisers of this vile campaign, who were forced last February into cancelling their parade in Derry, did not reflect upon the pain which their proposal had inflicted upon their victims,” they said.
“The fact that this is taking place as part of a supposed ‘justice’ campaign by those who slaughtered our people as part of a murder machine that still occupies our country is a disgusting demonstration of naked triumphalism.”