Yesterday I officially filed my “Notice of Intention to Organise a Public Procession” to walk across Northern Ireland. And today I discovered my application was listed on the Parade Commission’s website. I’m still not 100% sure that my application was approved, but it’s looking good. In my application to the Parades Commission, I stated my application is unique because it is a parade of one with no band or banners. The stated purpose I noted was to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the People’s Democracy March from Belfast to Derry.
In Northern Ireland parades are very serious business. The Parade Commission works to make sure parades are properly permitted before taking to city streets, and the marchers and the public is safe. On its website it states, “The Commission operates from the fundamental premise that the rights to freedom of assembly (ie to parade) and to freedom of expression (ie to protest) are important rights to be enjoyed equally by all. It acknowledges however, that these rights are not absolute and that there are other equally important rights that have to be taken into account when a parade is taking place.”
In the coming days I plan to write more about parades in Northern Ireland. For the moment, I am going to enjoy this little bit of history.
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