SDLP leader Colum Eastwood yesterday said that future arrangements around parades in Derry have to be built on genuine "respect" for the local community.
The Derry MLA, along with Sinn Féin, the Alliance Party and People Before Profit slammed the DUP for a lack of leadership in the aftermath of a contentious Apprentice Boys parade in the city last weekend.
Yesterday evening, the Apprentice Boys of Derry eventually recognised the potential upset caused to nationalists by a Parachute Regiment and soldier F emblem worn by Clyde Valley Flute Band from Larne.
Speaking to the Derry News a short time before, General Secretary Billy Moore, refused to condemn the actions of the band and said they had done nothing illegal.
He added that he had no prior knowledge of the uniform worn during Saturday's march.
Police escorted the Larne band during the parade, and later stopped their bus.
The Parades Commission has since confirmed that a "number of complaints" were received, including one about a participating band.
The DUP released a statement on Tuesday evening in which it defended the actions of the Larne group but condemned the police operation and dissident Republicans for holding a demonstration.
DUP leader Arlene Foster said she didn't understand how the badge worn by the band constituted a breach of the peace.
She believed policing should be "fair and even handed" and said the PSNI should learn lessons from the weekend's events. Her comments were backed by UUP leader Robin Swann.
Yesterday, SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA said there is a palpabale sense of anger across the city that has to be addressed and the Apprentice Boys bear a lot of the responsibility in addressing it.
Fifty years on from the Battle of the Bogside when the nationalist people of Derry stood up for their rights, Mr Eastwood was asked if the actions over the weekend showed there is real leadership and respect between both communities.
He said: "The way the DUP have handled the situation is disgraceful and they have avoided showing any kind of leadership. Some people in the DUP have deliberately rubbed salt in the wounds and it's time for them to wise up.
"We have to move beyond this where we're constantly poking people in the eye about issues that happened many years ago.
"We have to move forward together, the Apprentice Boys, the community, the business sector and politicians were part of the solution when it came to marching it Derry and they have to be again. But it has to be on the basis of respect for people who live in the city.
"People can't be disrespected, especially the feelings of the Bloody Sunday families, like they were last week.
"There has always been an understanding that the Apprentice Boys marches would be accommodated but that there would be respect shown to the local community. They should be about the events they're commemorating not about people's political causes in the march.
"That could start with ensuring that that band never takes part in a march in Derry again."
The march will have to be accommodated in future, he said, "however difficult that is for people in the city because if we want to create a new Ireland we can't do it by denying people the opportunity to march.
"We done it in much more difficult times, so we have to do it again, but it's a two way street and if we want to have a shared city respect has to be shown by everyone."
He welcomed a statement from the Apprentice Boys acknowledging the hurt caused, saying, it demonstrates "the kind of leadership that Derry and the North needs right now".
Sinn Féin Vice-President Michelle O'Neill has also called on the leadership of the main unionist parties to condemn the "deliberate goading of victims" which took place last weekend.
Michelle O’Neill said: “The inclusion of Soldier F and British Army Paratrooper emblems have been seen in Derry as a deliberate attempt to goad and antagonise the Bloody Sunday families.
“The decision of senior DUP representatives wearing Apprentice Boys regalia to pose for photographs under a Paratrooper regiment banner is seen in exactly the same light.
“However, instead of confronting this mocking of victims, both main unionist parties have sought to deflect and criticise the policing operation instead.
“Once again that is an abdication of leadership from the DUP and the UUP. Instead of defending disrespect and pandering to the lowest common denominator they should come out and clearly condemn this deliberate goading of victims.”
Prominent figure during the Battle of the Bogside, People Before Profit Councillor Eamonn McCann said DUP politicians standing under a Parachute Regiment banner meant people could reasonably draw the conlcusion that they were "supporting murder in the Bogside".
Meanwhile the Alliance Party said the DUP's criticism of the police response risks fuelling flase notions of two-tier policing.
Alliance Policing Board member John Blair MLA said: "Accountability is vital to policing but politicians need to be careful not to cross over to undermining policing. The DUP and UUP need to acknowledge this one band were wrong to parade with Parachute Regiment insignia in Derry-Londonderry, given the context and legacy of Bloody Sunday.
“Such politically opportunistic actions are not helpful to policing across the community, particularly given other recent events. Politicians should know better than play to the gallery at times when sensitivities are to the fore.”
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