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Last Updated: Friday, 16 November 2007, 10:22 GMT
Ditch loyalist parade says mayor
Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers
Jim Rodgers has appealed to the band to resubmit its application
Belfast's Lord Mayor has appealed to a loyalist band barred from a city street to "take the high ground" and withdraw its application for a parade.

The Parades Commission has banned the Pride of the Raven band from going along Donegall Pass next Saturday.

This followed concerns it could intimidate members of the Chinese community living and working there.

Jim Rodgers, an Orange Order member, called on the band to withdraw and submit a fresh application in January.

"The Parades Commission has been a big disappointment to the Pride of the Raven band. They are very respectable and have been in business for many many years," he said.

"I don't think for one moment they were trying to cause offence."

"But traders in the city centre are very concerned this parade would disrupt business and many traders are struggling to make ends meet," he said.

Form

The Pride of the Raven Band said they were unhappy that a form with one of their member's names on it had been passed to Alliance assembly member Anna Lo.

They claimed this compromised one of their member's security.

But Ms Lo said she had no direct link with the road and many view the route request as an attempt to intimidate people.

"This is a protest parade going down Donegall Pass and really there is no connection with Donegall Pass at all in terms of the protest," she said.

"My constituency office is not in Donegall Pass, I have no connection at all with Donegall Pass - so why pick Donegall Pass?"

On Thursday, the Parades Commission banned the march from going along Donegall Pass.

It allowed an alternative route on the condition there was only one band, no more than 40 people and that the march which is due to start at 1000GMT on 24 November finishes by 1230GMT.



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Alliance MLA Anna Lo speaking about the parade





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