Rioters pour onto streets in Northern Ireland

Belfast, April 9 2021: Belfast has been dissatisfied over Brexit and domestic politics and there is now a surge in violence as rioters waged a running battle with police on Thursday night.

The unrest consisted use of petrol bombs, setting fires and dodging jets from water cannon. Hundreds of boys and young men gathered from early evening the capital. Masked and in hooded tops, they hurled rocks, bricks and glass bottles at police barricades where riot officers formed ranks with armoured Land Rovers.

Petrol bombs burst into flames in the street and fireworks were aimed into police formations, exploding and smothering their lines in thick smoke. Behind riot shields and with batons drawn, police drove back the surging crowds late into Thursday night, as locals peered out of their windows to witness the spectacle.

The riots are the site of “The Troubles”, a sectarian conflict, which wound down in 1998 but Brexit has been partially blamed for rekindling old tensions. The unrest started last week in the pro-UK unionist community, where tensions are high because of new post-Brexit rules some feel are dividing the reg

This has caused a mounting political crisis in Northern Ireland. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his Irish counterpart Micheal Martin and US President Joe Biden have all called for calm. Meanwhile police have pleaded to those with “influence” in the community to hold back the crowds from participating in riots. On Thursday dozens of older men and women stood at the gates where violence had flared the previous night and refused to let rioters approach.These are signs that those who still remember “The Troubles” are unwilling to let the region slide back into its dark past.

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