Black Lives Matter protests in Ireland

Early July saw Black Lives Matter solidarity protests happen in cities across Ireland, including Cork, Belfast, Galway and two seperate protests on different days in Dublin.

The largest of the Dublin protests was on July 12th when hundreds of people gathered across from the GPO on O'Connell street.  A second protest that Saturday at Central Blank plaza included a march to the GPO.

The organising groups, Anti-Racism Network and the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland read out a statement as below to the July 12th protest.

"The Anti-Racism Network and the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland have called this demonstration today to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the US. We condemn the horrific acts of violence perpetrated on a daily basis by US law enforcement against Black bodies. In 2015, Black males aged between 15 and 34 were five times more likely than white males of the same age to be killed by the police.

It is clear then that a Black person’s mere existence still represents a threat worthy of extermination, as evidenced by the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Miriam Carey, Tanisha Anderson, Tamir Rice, Mya Hall, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, to name but a few. And no matter how incontrovertible the evidence in any given case that no actual threat exists, the perpetrators in law enforcement can be assured of absolute impunity with regard to their actions.

This culture of impunity is nothing short of state-sanctioned murder of members of the US’s Black population, and it represents the brutal edge of a much more all-encompassing system of structural racism. Other manifestations can be seen in the education and housing systems, in prison incarceration rates, in the makeup of communities affected by poverty and drug abuse, and in media and political representation.

However this devaluing of dark skin also stretches beyond the borders of the US and informs our reactions to the 10,000 people that have drowned in the Mediterranean since 2014, and to the 5,000 people currently incarcerated in the Direct Provision system here in Ireland.

We therefore stand in solidarity with the ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ movement in the US and their struggle against deeply ingrained institutional racial prejudice, but also against the international system of white supremacy."

The 12th July protest saw this fantastic rap poetry performance of 'Wet Grass' by Clara Rose.

The 12th July ‪‎protest in Dublin heard Asylum Seeker Lucky Khambule ask the very sensible question 'Who Built America' before going on to talk about racism in Ireland. 

 

Lucky spoke for KRAC whom he previously described to Rabble as "KRAC was a group that was setup in relation to the conditions at the Kinsale Road asylum centre. It came to a stage whereby the residents tired of that. We organised ourselves in a small committee, and we got everybody to write down the problems that they experienced. We decided that we had to force the management to change our living conditions."  He is also involved in  MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland) of which he said"this group represents asylum centres all over the country. Our aim is to co-ordinate all the grass-root organisations all over the country that agree with our demands to end direct provision."

We've noticed some comments from Irish followers of our page who are confused by the Black Lives Matter slogan. They appear to have made the mistake of taking it as shorthand for 'Only Black Lives Matter'. In fact in an indication of how bad police racism is in the US it's actually shorthand for 'Black Lives Matter Also' because so much of white supremacist US society has been willing to accept the gunning down of black men on the slightest of pretexts.

A Kurdish solidarity statement with the Black Lives Matter movement read out by a delegate of Saoirse Jin 

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Words:Andrew Flood (follow Andrew on Twitter)

  


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