Far-right activists have attempted to barge into and disrupt an event organised exclusively for People of Colour. The skill swap event was organised by Black Pride Ireland and Migrants and Ethnic-Minorities for Reproductive Justice (MERJ) for International Women’s Day.
But in a statement issued on its Twitter page, MERJ related that “known fascists” arrived at the venue and “tried to push their way in”.
In its statement MERJ revealed that it had received a number of threats in the week leading up to the event. This involved “online threats and harassment”. And on the day of the event, Sunday 8 March, far-right activists arrived and attempted to enter the venue where the skill swap was taking place.
But MERJ wrote:
Ultimately we defended ourselves, our community and the space and they weren’t able to gain entry.
The group also pointed out that this wasn’t the first time this had happened. And MERJ also said “it’s not the first time that they have been removed by us”.
Spaces for People of Colour
In the lead-up to the event Black Pride Ireland was forced to issue a statement due to the level of abuse it and MERJ were receiving. It argued that the event was important because of “the necessity of spaces that are particularly for marginalised groups”.
Spaces like this, it wrote, allow People of Colour to “feel truly at liberty to express ourselves, love ourselves, and share with one another”. And it closed its statement by declaring:
We are here for the empowerment of our community, first and foremost.
The incident comes as a second protest was held by far-right activists outside a proposed direct provision centre in Tullamore, Co. Offaly on Saturday 7 March.
A similar protest held a week earlier attracted roughly 30 people. Protestors have referred to the housing of asylum seekers in the town as a form of population replacement.
Featured image via Twitter – Black Pride Ireland