Tension, Though No Violence, as Protestants Parade in Belfast

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BELFAST, Northern Ireland — The parades to celebrate the centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant — the 1912 petition against home rule that helped lead to the partition of Ireland — passed peacefully on Saturday amid the biggest police operation here in more than 20 years.

The Protestant parades, which drew about 30,000 marchers, took place against the backdrop of heightened sectarian violence in Belfast.

Research released this month by the University of Ulster found that more than two-thirds of people living near the so-called Peace Walls separating the Protestant and Catholic communities want the barriers to remain. More than a decade after an Irish Republican Army cease-fire and the signing of the Belfast Agreement, which paved the way for a power-sharing local government, there are still more than 50 such walls around the city....

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