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Debunked: No, People Before Profit has not organised a 'pro-lockdown' rally

A false flyer advertising a pro-lockdown rally has been incorrectly attributed to People Before Profit and Le Chéile.

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AN IMAGE ADVERTISING a “pro-lockdown” rally has been falsely attributed to People Before Profit and a recently-formed alliance of activist organisations.

The graphic appears to promote a rally supporting Covid-19 restrictions and includes logos for political party People Before Profit and alliance group Le Chéile.

However, neither of the groups is behind the image, and no rally backing the restrictions is planned for this weekend.

The image, which has been designed to look like a poster or flyer, is being shared on the message platform Telegram in threads that are calling for businesses in Ireland to reopen despite the restrictions. 

It says that a pro-lockdown rally is scheduled for 27 February at St Stephen’s Green.

“No to conspiracy theories, no to anti Brazilian racism, no to ending the lockdown,” the flyer says, followed by #ZeroCovid and logos for People Before Profit and Le Chéile.

Fake poster

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for People Before Profit said that the party did not create the image.

The spokesperson said that “PBP have no involvement in such a rally” and that the image “was not produced by our party”.

“It is a fake poster which I understand to be doing the rounds on Irish conspiracy theory pages,” the spokesperson said.

“We have flagged this post with our social media team and the Le Chéile group.”

The spokesperson confirmed that People Before Profit has changed its logo and that the one which appears on the false image is an old version.

The old party logo shown on the poster is a green and white hand clasped against a dark red background with the text “People Before Profit Alliance” circling the hands.

The new logo uses a simpler, red and white design.

People-Before-Profit People Before Profit's old logo, which appears on the false poster

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full_logo_colour People Before Profit's current logo

Similarly, Le Chéile told TheJournal.ie that the image “has nothing to do with Le Chéile or what we stand for” and that its aim seemed to be to cause confusion.

An anti-lockdown protest has been planned for this weekend by groups that oppose Covid-19 restrictions. Similar protests have occurred previously during the pandemic.

The government this week updated its Living With Covid Plan, which sets out its approach to tackling the virus.

In an address on Tuesday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that current public health restrictions are remaining in place until 5 April, with the exception of schools and childcare, which are beginning to reopen on a phased basis.

“I know how hard this is. I know the toll that it is having on so many people’s mental health and wellbeing. I know the devastation it has brought to so many businesses and livelihoods,” Martin said.

“But I also know that the end is now truly in sight. We have already shown what a remarkably resilient people we are. We have drawn on a deep innate sense of community and solidarity to get us this far. That’s why, I know, that we will get through this.”

TheJournal.ie’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here.

Have you gotten a message on WhatsApp or Facebook or Twitter about coronavirus that you’re not sure about and want us to check it out? Message or mail us and we’ll look into debunking it. WhatsApp: 085 221 4696 or Email: answers@thejournal.ie.

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