Black Lives Matter protests held across Ireland as demonstrators call for end to direct provision

Black Lives Matter protests held across Ireland as demonstrators call for end to direct provision

Demonstrations were held around Ireland to protest against the murder of George Floyd in the US. Protestors also gathered to demand an end to Ireland’s system of direct provision. 

It comes as protests in the US are heading into their second week in the aftermath of Floyd’s murder by a police officer. Scenes of police brutality have been widespread. And footage has also emerged of police helping a far-right group avoid being arrested. 

This is “just the beginning” 

In Dublin, hundreds gathered outside the US embassy in Ballsbridge. The protest was organised by the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI), Migrants and Ethnic-Minorities for Reproductive Justice (MERJ), and Black Pride Ireland.

Attendees could be seen holding placards which read “Black Lives Matter” and “End Direct Provision”. Protests were also held in Kerry, Limerick, Waterford, Belfast and Derry. 

On its Twitter page, MERJ wrote that the protests were “just the beginning” and that “we will end Direct Provision together!”. Lucky Khambule told the protestors in Dublin:

We have to keep shouting for change.


So we are here standing and saying no to racism and direct provision. Let people live freely and be a happy family.  

A similar protest held in Dublin on Monday 1 June attracted roughly 4,000 people. In its aftermath the gardaí announced it had launched an investigation into the organisers of the protest for breach of lockdown laws. 

“Playing favourites”

In the US, demonstrations are headed into their second week as protestors there show no signs of giving up. Scenes of police brutality have gone viral. Footage of an elderly peace activist who suffered a head injury, and ended up in hospital after being pushed to the ground by police officers, drew widespread criticism.

Video of the police helping a far-right group has also emerged. In Salem, Oregon, a police officer advised members of the white supremacist Proud Boys on how to avoid being arrested. The officer tells the armed men they’re about to enforce a city-wide curfew and arrest people found outside. 

But he then informs the members of the group that:

My command wanted me to come talk to you guys and request that you guys discreetly remain inside the buildings or in your vehicles, somewhere where it’s not a violation, so we don’t look like we’re playing favourites.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), the Proud Boys “are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric”. And the SPLC also points out that the leaders of the Proud Boys spread white nationalist memes. 

Featured image via Twitter – Hannah McCarthy

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