Responding to comments by the chairman of the Police Federation Terry Spence TUV leader Jim Allister said:
“Mr Spence’s comments calling for a suspension of all “contentious parading” is completely unacceptable. For a start, how does Terry Spence define contentious? Remember that the Apprentice Boys parade in Castledurg last Saturday was not “contentious” until Sinn Fein/IRA decided to make it so. Then, following a visit by co-First Minister McGuinness, they suddenly decided it wasn’t “contentious” any more and Republicans called off their protest in a cynical attempt to deflect attention from the celebration of terror they were organising for the next day.
“In no free and democratic society can the right to parade and protest be cancelled just because the police force think that would be a good idea. It is the PSNI’s duty to protect those fundamentals, not call for them to be revoked or, for that matter, assault and use foul language towards those who choose to exercise the right as happened Michael Copeland and his family on Friday night.
“These comments are not just stupid they are dangerous because they will feed the perception within the Unionist community that the PSNI is against them. For years Republicans have been calling for all Loyal Order parades to stop. Now they have been joined by the Police Federation.”