Black Saturday parade to take place in Derry; RBP say Protocol has given 'foreign power' control
The Royal Black Institution will hold parades at dozens of locations, including Derry, on 'Last Saturday' - the final main loyalist demonstrations of the marching season.
Two bands - the Burntollet Sons of Ulster Flute Band and the Churchill Flute Band - and around 150 participants will participate in a City of Londonderry No 2 District Royal Black Preceptory feeder parade in Derry city from 9 a.m. on August 28 before taking part in one of the main county parades in Limavady.
The Limavady parade will leave Shanreagh Crossroads at 12 noon for a parade to the Limavady Orange field. A wreath will be left at Limavady War memorial and then parade will begin.
A service will commence at 1.15pm and conclude at 2pm. After proceedings in the Orange field, the parade will reform at 2.15pm for parade to dispersal point.
Traditionally, the 'Last Saturday' demonstrations involve upwards of 17,000 members of the Institution on parade with accompanying bands at six locations across Northern Ireland.
However, with COVID-19 still in circulation, the Institution’s flagship day – which is due to take place this year on Saturday, August 28 – has been organised on a more localised basis, with a greater number of smaller processions.
A constitutional resolution will be moved at the demonstration that will call on the government to 'remove the Northern Ireland Protocol which has diluted the citizenship of the people of Northern Ireland by allowing a foreign power to have control of our customs and borders'.
"We wish to remain in the United Kingdom and our citizenship of such is not open for negotiation or to be used as a bargaining tool by either Her Majesty’s Government or any foreign power. We call upon our local politicians to re-build trust and stability by focusing our people on the benefits of being in a strong United Kingdom," the proposed resolution reads.
Sovereign Grand Master Rev William Anderson, said: “I am really looking forward to our ‘Local Last Saturday’ parades this year.
“Throughout this terrible pandemic, the Royal Black Institution has played a responsible role, cancelling meetings and processions in a bid to help curtail the spread of the virus.
“As a civic-minded and Christian organisation, many of our members played active roles in helping the sick and shielding.
“Last year, our ‘Last Saturday’ demonstrations were cancelled, and the day was marked with wreath-laying events at war memorials, or drive-in services.
“We know that Covid is still with us, but thankfully the improved circumstances this year will allow us to have ‘Local Last Saturday’ parades.
“Admittedly, they will not be the large-scale events we are used to. However, considering the tumultuous and, at times, dispiriting last 18 months, I am sure these local parades will bring huge joy to participants and spectators alike as we witness for the Reformed Christian Faith and celebrate the centenary of our beloved country.
“I would encourage everyone going to a parade to play their part by ensuring that their conduct helps to look after their own health and the health of others - and we look forward to the full return of our traditional ‘Last Saturday’ parades in 2022.”