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Hundreds of people gather for Black Lives Matter protest at the US embassy

Thousands are expected to gather at the US Embassy today at 3pm.

Updated Jun 6th 2020, 4:28 PM

2157 Black Lives Matter Crowds outside the US Embassy in Dublin today. Source: RollingNews.ie

HUNDREDS OF PROTESTERS have gathered at the US embassy to protest against racism, and police brutality against people of colour in the United States.

A small number of protesters have also gathered at the US ambassador’s residence in Phoenix Park, and others have gathered at the Spire on O’Connell Street.

Other protests have taken place today in Limerick, Galway and Waterford.

This is the third such demonstration in Dublin since the death of George Floyd: last Sunday, a small gathering of protesters held a socially-distant protest outside the US embassy.

On Monday, thousands marched from the GPO to the US embassy, and held a minutes’ silence there. They also chanted George Floyd’s name. 

Health Minister Simon Harris had asked organisers to call off the protest after concerns were raised about how to stay socially distant, and in order to reduce the risk of the virus spreading as Ireland begins to open back up. 

Organisers of the protest, MASI, Black Pride Ireland, and MERJ, urged people to wear face masks, bring hand sanitizer, and to stay socially distant during the demonstration at 3pm. 

They are urging those who can’t attend the protest to follow the organisations’ Twitter accounts on the day, to put posters and signs up in their windows, and to drive past with signs, if possible.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Health Minister Simon Harris said that “you can’t be a hypocrite when you’re in a position like I’m in – you can’t just criticise the protests that you don’t support the cause of and stay silent on protests that you do support the cause of”.

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“I abhor racism, so do people in this country. It’s not who we are. 

And I think we are all disgusted, sickened, horrified, when it comes to the death of George Floyd, some of the scenes that we are seeing in other parts of the world.

And also conscious that we have to get our own house in order in calling our racism here in Ireland.

But regardless of your cause, and regardless of how just your cause is, now is not the time to have a mass gathering. And at the moment the rules are very clear about how many of us can congregate outside – it’s four, at a safe and socially distant way.
So if there’s four people at the American embassy safely and socially distanced, that’s in line. If there’s more than that, it’s not.

He encouraged people to “absolutely make your views known”, through using social media, or writing to the US embassy.

“Protest is a really important part of democracy, but public health is important too,” he said, adding that people haven’t been able to attend the funerals of loved ones.

- with reporting from Christina Finn

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