Ulster Unionist Councillor Darryl Wilson has thanked the bands, loyal orders and spectators who attended the Protestants Against Injustice protest parade in Ballymoney on Saturday evening.
The Protestants Against Injustice Committee member said:
We would like to offer a sincere thank you to all of the Bands, loyal orders and spectators that made Saturday’s protest parade in Ballymoney a great success.
Over 30 bands and several thousand members from the various loyal orders took part in the procession.
A considerable amount of time and effort went into organising the weekends protest, the event would not have been possible without the assistance of the marshals, street collectors, psni and everyone else that helped out. Thanks to all who volunteered.
The protest parade is a platform for us to build upon as we continue in our quest to see the parades commission be dissolved. It is imperative that a unified message is sent out to those who are capable of bringing about positive and meaningful change, we were delighted that all of the loyal orders were represented and that they marched together in a show of unity and solidarity.
In the last number of years we have seen ludicrous restrictions being placed upon of various parades at the whim of a handful of “travel to be offended ” protestors. These protestors now have a blueprint on how to disrupt parades which have proceeded peacefully for decades. The parades commission is the vehicle used by the protestors to see parades where tolerance and respect were present be turned into areas of contention.
It beggars belief that the commission would permit a dissident republican show of strength to pass by the lower shankill this weekend, yet in the last number of weeks the same commission barred a band from playing in a parade in North Antrim due to “perceived provocative conduct “.
The PAI Committee will continue to lobby through protest and petition to see the parades commission be disbanded.”