Rebel Rally for Peace draws around 250 people outside Cork City Hall to counter far-right ‘free speech’ protest

A Peace Rally attracted a crowd of roughly 250 people outside Cork City Hall on Saturday 4 January. The rally had been organised by Cork Rebels for Peace in opposition to a planned far-right “free speech” demonstration.

Around 45 people gathered on the far right side to protest against the government’s proposed updating of Ireland’s hate speech laws. 

“Anti-choice racists”

The two rallies were separated by a road, with the Rally for Peace taking place directly outside City Hall. According to the organisers, they intended to “show the far right that Cork city will not succumb to intolerance”. One of the speakers on Saturday told those in attendance that:

The people across the road are not here to defend free speech. They’re anti-choice racists.

The speaker went on to say:

We just want to show Cork and Ireland we stand against the politics of hate.

And they told the far-right protestors that “We will chase you out of town” whenever they gather. 

On Facebook Cork Rebels for Peace thanked people for attending, writing that they

showed that Cork will not let the politics of hate in. We will continue to organise and will be there every single time they try to force their hate on our beautiful city.

Mixed messages

From those attending the other side chants of “Baa” were heard. One protestor with a megaphone asked people at the Peace Rally “What’s the story?”. As the rally was coming to an end a number of far-right protestors crossed the road as they left, coming in to close proximity with the Peace Rally. One of them commented to the members of the rally as he passed that “There’s not a testicle between the lot of ye”.

Amongst the far-right protestors were also placards and posters accusing the Irish government of murdering people in hospitals and nursing homes. 

Featured image via The Beacon

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