Roughly 400 people attended a Rally for Peace on Earth in Dublin today to counter a far-right “Free Speech Rally”. The peace rally had been organised by Solidarity Alliance Against Racism and Fascism (SARF), United Against Racism, and the Irish Network Against Racism (INAR).
On the Facebook page for the event they argued that the far right is trying to divide people. In response, people must counter it by creating a “space of inclusivity and openness against the forces of bigotry, division and hate”.
“Words have consequences”
Members and supporters of dozens of organisations attended the rally in Dublin this afternoon. Amongst them were Trócaire, People Before Profit (PBP), Connolly Youth Movement (CYM), Extinction Rebellion Ireland, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).
Green Party councillor Daniel Whooley, who attended the rally, said on Twitter that:
We need stronger hate speech laws because words have consequences.
Other attendees of the event included Tony Groves, co-host of the popular Echo Chamber Podcast, who acted as MC, and former European election candidate for the Green Party Saoirse McHugh. Also present was TD Paul Murphy of the RISE party.
Singer Christy Moore had earlier called on people to attend the rally. He wrote on Twitter that:
We need to stand together against racism, bigotry and hate – they have no place in a civilised society.
Roughly 150 people took part in the far-right “Free Speech Rally”. Amongst the placards displayed included one calling for people to “Make Ireland Irish Again”.
The event passed peacefully apart from some minor scuffles between members of the opposing rallies, with a number of arrests being made by the gardaí.
Featured image via Twitter – Ciara O’Dowd