Protesters in Belfast Riot Over Flag Vote

Posted December 4th, 2012 at 12:25 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Hundreds of protesters rioted in the Northern Ireland city of Belfast following a vote by councilors to remove the British flag from city hall for most of the year.

Fifteen police officers were injured Monday night as demonstrators threw bottles and bricks at officers during an attempt to force their way into the building.

Two security guards and a press photographer were also injured in the melee.

Nationalist lawmakers, opposed to Northern Ireland being part of the United Kingdom, wanted the flag taken down completely, but voted on a compromise that allows it to fly 17 days of the year.

The British flag has flown continuously at the building since it opened in 1906.

Nationalist and Unionist parties share power in Northern Ireland's provincial assembly under the 1998 peace deal that ended 30 years of sectarian violence.

Belfast once had a Unionist, protestant majority, but for the first time this year, nationalist lawmakers have more seats on the council.