Thousands Hold Silent Anti-Abortion Protest at Northern Ireland Assembly

An anti-abortion protest in Belfast drew thousands of protesters who shone lights from their phones as they observed a six-minute silence outside the Northern Ireland Assembly in Belfast on September 6.

The assembly had been suspended since January 2017 and the main parties had not been able to reach an agreement on its resumption.

The UK Parliament in London passed a law in July 2019 requiring such an agreement to be reached by October 21, with provision for abortion to be legalised if that deadline was missed.

Protest organisers rallied support using several hashtags, including “we were not asked” to express their displeasure at having the national government impose such a law on Northern Ireland.

The event was organised by a group called Northern Ireland Voiceless, who have said that the law goes against public opinion.

Marion Woods, a spokesperson for the group Both Lives Matter, said the six-minute silence represented each of the six provinces of Northern Ireland. Credit: Marion Woods via Storyful