Judgment has been reserved in a case involving 28 people accussed of staging an illegal sit-down protest on the Crumlin Road, near Ardoyne, as Orange lodges were due to return home on 12 July 2011.
All of the defendants are charged with obstructing lawful activity in a public place and some are also accused ot resisting arrest. Deputy district judge Neil Rafferty reserved judgment and told lawyers he would notify them when he had reaqched his verdict. His decision will certainly attract considerable attention.
The right of peaceful assembly is one of the most basic human rights in a liberal and democratic society and it is one that is highly valued around the world. Those who sought to block the main road were attempting to deny others that basic human right.