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Dr John Kyle: 'We need to re-engage with protesters'

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The Union flag has been raised over Belfast City Hall, to mark the Duchess of Cambridge's birthday.

It is the first time the flag has been on display since the council's decision not to fly it every day sparked violent protests.

But police were attacked with petrol bombs and fireworks for a sixth night in east Belfast on Tuesday.

Dr John Kyle is one of two members of the Progressive Unionist Party on the city council.

He explained to Today programme presenter James Naughtie that the problem is that the demonstrators feel alienated from the political system.

"We need to re-engage with these protesters, with the people in the loyalist communities who feel disenfranchised," he explained.

"People feel they're not being heard, so we need to actively engage with them - condemnation doesn't achieve that," he added.

Dr Ruth Dudley Edwards, an historian and writer, said that the two big parties in Northern Ireland are "leaving the alienated behind". Protestants, she said, need to be "told the positives".


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