‘F**k the DUP’ sign woman claims police tried to ‘intimidate’ her
The woman whose “F**k the DUP” sign was confiscated at Belfast Pride has claimed that the police have tried to intimidate her.
Eleanor Evans told PinkNews earlier this year that a Pride official told her to throw away her sign or she would be banned from the parade.
Evans has now revealed that she was visited by the Police Service of Northern Ireland last week at her home regarding the matter.
“I think they did it to intimidate me because there’s no reason that it couldn’t have been a letter if they had my address,” she told BBC News.
“Also, it was a voluntary interview – there’s no need to show up in person.
“It’s not very nice to have them turn up on your doorstep.”
She continued: “I think it’s inappropriately heavy-handed to show up at my house and call me in for questioning.
“I think it’s a waste of time, especially given what goes on on the 12th [of July Orange Order parades].”
Evans said that the offence felt by the DUP was “misdirected”, and that she was offended by the lack of value given to same-sex couples.
At the time of the incident, Evans said: “I had walked past plenty of police who were at the parade and no problems from then with anything.
“About half way around one of the Pride officials comes running towards me with such a strange sense of urgency as if I was holding a gun or something.”
She added: “He started saying ‘you can’t have that sign, you can’t have it’. And I was sort of like ‘why? what’s going on?’.
“He was like either put the sign down or get out of the parade. Then he just ripped the sign out of my hand and shoves me.”
The new action by the police followed an intervention by the DUP’s Jim Wells, who had complained directly to the authorities.
“I asked the Police to charge [the Pride marcher] with a hate crime and grossly offensive behaviour,” he said.
“Her actions were also in contravention of Parades Commission regulations.”
Wells added: “I told the police that I regarded the placard as a hate crime and grossly offensive.
“It was also in my view totally against the legislation controlling parades in Northern Ireland.”
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Following the police visit, Wells told the BBC that he was pleased his complaint had been taken up.
“I was approached by people who were watching the parade who were deeply offended by the message contained on the placard,” he said.
“There’s absolutely no place for that type of language to be aimed at Northern Ireland’s largest political party.”
A PSNI spokesperson told PinkNews: “When any complaint is received PSNI will examine the report and speak to all relevant parties to establish if any offence has been committed.
“In relation to this specific case, enquiries are ongoing and a file will be submitted to the PPS in due course.”