Northern Ireland news

Those behind loyalist race posters 'on wrong side of history'

A recent poster distributed by loyalists in Co Tyrone
Connla Young

Loyalists who circulated images of posters which dismiss the Black Lives Matter movement have been told they are on the “wrong side of history”.

Pictures of the posters have been shared on a social media site of Loyalist Moygashel/Dungannon in recent days.

The offensive images emerged after a wave of global outrage at the death of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis last month when a white police officer held a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Since then many people have adopted the gesture of dropping to one knee during protests.

However, the symbolic act has now been ridiculed.

In one image, a soldier is seen kneeling while pointing a rifle along with the words 'How real men take a knee'.

It also includes a Union flag and the slogan “British and proud”.

Another picture shows a poster attached to a pole with a map of the north incorporating an 'Ulster flag' bearing the words “it is not racist to protect your own community”.

Loyalist poster in Mid Ulster

Mid Ulster SDLP councillor Malachy Quinn last night slammed those behind the images.

“Black Lives Matter (BLM) is about equality for everybody, it's not a threat to anyone or any community.

“If you find that a threat or offensive that says more about you and the people you hang about with than anybody else.”

The SDLP councillor said the BLM movement is world-wide and supports equal treatment for all regardless of background.

“If you are not for that you are on the wrong side of history,” he said.

Moygashel has been the scene of racist attacks in the past.

In December last year a couple and their young children were forced to flee Jacksonville Road home after an oil tank and shed in their back yard was set ablaze in a racially motivated arson attack.

Every year loyalists in the village erect a banner in memory of UVF killer Wesley Somerville who died with fellow loyalist Harris Boyle as they placed a bomb on the minibus the Miami Showband were travelling in Co Down in 1975.

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