5 June 2020 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Local Monaghan Town residents and a young asylum seeker activist in St. Patrick’s Direct Provision Centre have organised a socially distant protest for the forecourt of Monaghan Courthouse on Saturday next to demonstrate against racism in Ireland and to show solidarity with the protest movements which have grown up in the US this week following the death of George Floyd.

Mr Floyd died while being arrested by police in Minneapolis. Footage of the arrest, which showed an officer holding Mr Floyd on the ground by placing his knee on his neck for an extended period of time, have sparked extreme controversy and generated a wave of protest action under the banner #BlackLivesMatter.
The organisers say Saturday’s protest will begin at 3 pm.

In a statement they added: “The world has been outraged by the cold-blooded, racist murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Protests have erupted in the US and around the world in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

“This weekend across Ireland there will be protests in solidarity with those engaged in struggle in the US against systemic racism and inequality.

“State racism exists in Ireland too. It is epitomised in the Direct Provision system, where asylum seekers are held in what are consciously separated from the rest of Irish society.. “Asylum seekers don’t have the right to work, get a meagre pittance of a weekly income from the state (less than €40 a week) and are cramped in overcrowded, dehumanising and dangerous conditions.”

Those who wish to attend Saturday’s protest are being asked by the organisers to bring masks or face covers. “We must be extremely vigilant and extremely safe,” the organisers stated, adding that some masks will be provided on the day but they were actively encouraging those attending to bring their own.
They have requested participants to adhere to the social distancing requirement of a minimum of two metres and to bring placards and signs expressing solidarity with the protest’s intent.

The organisers said there would be stewarding on the day to maximise safety.

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