America is beginning its ninth day of protests today as people continue to demonstrate following the killing of George Floyd. There were thousands of people on the streets of Dublin on Monday afternoon as people in Ireland showed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
While the sentiment driving the protests was obviously commendable, covid-19 social distancing guidelines were clearly flouted by many protesters during the march. Journalists yesterday reported the march was being investigated by gardaí, who yesterday released the following statement:
An Garda Síochána is investigating [a] potential breach of these regulations. . . and the advices of the Director of Public Prosecutions will be sought in respect of any further actions to be taken.
“The Covid-19 pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with public health guidelines and regulations, in particular essential journeys, in order to continue to save lives.”
Organisers had planned for a follow-up to the protest outside the US Embassy next Monday June 8th, but this morning opted to cancel the protest after conversations with An Garda Siochana.
Organisers added the following addendum to their original tweet cancelling the event:
An Garda Siochana have not threatened or in any way attempted to intimidate the organisers, however, a number of safety concerns and potential criminal offenses surrounding the protest were raised and we have elected to cancel with the possibility of rescheduling.
Yesterday Dr Tony Holohan urged the public not to gather to protest.
"We would be advising anyone who’s contemplating organising a mass gathering, for whatever reason, that now is not the time for people who are contemplating attending such events. We understand people’s motivation, and emotions that might have been involved with people in relation to some of the events that took place on the weekend – I don’t want to not recognise that, but our public health advice has not changed."