Crowds of predominantly young people have rioted almost nightly in different parts of Northern Ireland since the end of March.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland deployed water cannon for the first time in six years after coming under attack in Belfast on Thursday.
Children as young as 12 have been involved in the disorder, with violent clashes erupting in Londonderry, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Ballymena and Newtownabbey.
More than 70 police officers have been hurt.
BBC News NI spoke to young people from different backgrounds about the unrest.
‘Young people are being forced down this line’ – Ellie-Jo Taylor, 16, Derry
Ellie-Jo Taylor, who comes from a nationalist background in Derry, believes impressionable young people are being coerced into violence by adults.
“It is really disappointing, what we are seeing is adults cheering these young people on,” Ellie-Jo told BBC Radio Foyle.
“These are really young and impressionable people who could end up with a criminal record.
“I am a working class young person,” she added.
“If problems are breaking out in my local area it is usually a few minutes up the road from me.”
Ellie-Jo called for greater cross-community involvement with young people and said the only long-term solution was more integrated education.
“As young people, we aren’t really overly integrated in our own community, we don’t know people from other communities because we haven’t got integrated education to a level we want it at,” she said.
“These young people are hugely divided and probably wouldn’t start this violence if it was your friend on the other end.
“They haven’t been given an opportunity to make friends with those in the other community.
“I have maybe one or two Protestant friends, and that is so sad to say.”
‘Identity is under attack’ – Joel, 19, Belfast
Joel, who is from a loyalist area in Belfast, believes young people are starting to believe that their identity is “under attack”.
“I don’t think young people really understand the details in terms of the Irish Sea border and stuff,” he said.
“What they’re being told and is being reflected in the media, is that our identity is under attack.
“When they hear those words and then they are told that the only way they can help is throwing bombs, sticks and stones at people, they are more than happy to do that.”
Football teams ‘giving youth a better opportunity through sport’
In Belfast, two football clubs on either side of a loyalist and nationalist interface have urged young people not to get involved in the violence.
In a statement, St James Swift’s FC said: “We have been encouraged to make this statement after seeing our friends at Sandy Row FC showing great leadership in asking people to stay away from these interfaces.
“As neighbouring teams on an interface, we are both willing to work together to give our youths a better opportunity through sport.”
‘Those involved in the violence are in a minority’ – Matthew Bell, 21, Omagh
Matthew Bell, who is a unionist from Omagh, County Tyrone, is optimistic about the future, despite the recent violence.
He believes a number of cross-community initiatives are helping to bring future generations from different backgrounds together.
“I come from Omagh, which is a very nationalist dominated area, so therefore throughout my life I have been in constant touch with members of the nationalist community,” Matthew said.
“Many of them would be my closest friends.”
Matthew believes those involved in the rioting are a minority who do not represent the wider views of unionism, but says the clashes demonstrate there are serious concerns which must be addressed urgently.
“Our main concern at the moment is the Northern Ireland Protocol , it does have serious material problems and is a symbolic break with our brothers and sisters on the British mainland,” said Matthew.
He urged unionist politicians to do everything in their power to address those concerns and appealed for young people involved in the rioting to reconsider their actions.
“The young men on the street involved in this violence and the rioting need to stop,” said Matthew.
“It is not worth throwing your life away.”
- Homeless Best Friends / More and more Bay Area young people find comfort owning dogs
- White House's Slavitt reveals son's long-COVID battle as he urges young people to get vaccinated
- 'It's not enough' - young people around the world demand more from leaders at COP26
- Cambridge University could allow laptops and iPads for exams amid fear young people are losing ability to write
- These Young People Who Managed Their Own Abortions Say The Option Is Even More Important After Texas’s Crackdown
- Over half a MILLION young people took up smoking to combat stress of lockdown
- The young people behind Never Again Colorado and the March for Our Lives say they will end gun violence
- Woman, 28, urges people to donate organs after life-saving transplant as a child
- The Undertaker’s life away from WWE and how he shunned drugs he says were 'rampant'
- Hospital emergency department under 'extreme pressure' urges those without life-threatening conditions to stay away
- Let the young dream of a future
- Redditor urged to 'get new family' after confessing 'infuriating' loo roll habit
- RBG’s Life, in Her Own Words
- Thomas Grønnemark: He’s the Guinness World Records holder teaching football clubs the art of the long throw
- NI Teachers concerned by children's speech
- Biden under pressure as young activist silences COP crowd: 'We need action, not talks!'
- Are YOU a 'human snail'? People are now so reliant on their smartphones, the devices are 'becoming our homes', experts warn
- I’m trolled for my small baby bump – people say ‘you’re so small for 33 weeks’ & ‘are you sure there’s a baby in there?’
- Push to Improve Sex Ed in Australia Comes From 10,000 Miles Away
- Paedo who featured on 24 Hours in Police Custody for abusing kids is jailed for life
Young people in NI urge rioters 'not to throw life away' have 1068 words, post on www.bbc.co.uk at April 9, 2021. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.