Orange Order parades have begun peacefully, the BBC reports.
There were no incidents as a feeder parade passed a sectarian flashpoint at shops in Ardoyne in north Belfast. … Chief Constable George Hamilton said:
“I’m optimistic, but it’s a cautious optimism and I’m just hoping that people take responsibility for their own actions and they need to understand that, as I’ve said throughout the past couple of weeks, the police will do our piece to keep people safe and also to collect evidence where people step outside of the law.”
The Irish Times reports that the Police Service of Northern Ireland is deploying 3,500 officers, with about one third deployed to north Belfast hot spots. After several years of relative calm, loyalist violence erupted last July when Orangemen were banned by the Parades Commission from returning home past the Ardoyne shops. The commission decision was upheld this year.
Here’s a good background piece about “Orangeism,” also from the BBC. By the way, that “L.O.L” on their banners refers to Loyal Orange Lodge, not laughing out loud.