There was a brief confrontation between roughly 150 anti-fascists and 100 members of the far right at a National Party anti-lockdown rally at the Dáil today. Both groups could be seen attempting to push back the barriers separating them. Gardaí had placed a significant number of barriers along Kildare Street in advance of the rally.
It’s also understood that at least one firework was thrown at the counter-protestors. Gardaí also deployed their batons against the assembled anti-fascists.
During the rally National Party leader Justin Barrett took the time to thank the gardaí, telling them “You are of us and we are of you”.
A banking conspiracy
The rally was organised by National Party activists to protest against the government’s COVID-19 restrictions. Calling on the government to “Let Ireland Live”, the rally heard from known far-right figureheads. Amongst them were Rowan Croft, also known as Grand Torino, and National Party leader Justin Barrett.
Croft, a former British soldier, argued that the counter-protestors “are paid propagandists”. He said that everyone at the rally was there to “Fight for our freedoms” and to uphold the constitution.
Barrett told the crowd that the government is altering the death figures in relation to COVID-19 in order to justify its actions. He also claimed that the virus is part of a wider agenda on the part of “international finance capital” to destroy the world’s economies. Barrett insisted that the “restrictions are here to stay” as part of the economy-destroying agenda.
Policing the far right
You are of us and we are of you.
The National Party leader also said that his organisation is “a party of law and order”. And, given this, once the National Party attains power he will fully fund it to the degree needed to fight crime in Ireland. Barrett insisted that him and his party will “give you the judges needed… and the prisons”.
In advance of today’s rally the administrator of far-right Telegram group called on people attending the rally be on their best behaviour. Citing their good relationship with the gardaí, they wrote:
The Gardaí know the reds are scum, remember the migration compact protest: the Gardaí were having the banter with us, they had their batons out for the reds. We need to maintain that dynamic.
Although the senior levels of the forces are “infiltrated by Orangemen and Freemasons”, the average garda “knows the horrors of multiculturalism” according to the poster. As a result, the far-right protestors should “be polite and cooperate” with the gardaí.
A spokesperson for the gardaí told The Beacon that a man in his 30s has been arrested for a public order offence. He is currently being held in Pearse Street Garda Station. A second man was later arrested, also for public order offences.
Due to rising cases of COVID-19 Ireland is currently under Level 3 restrictions. This only allows for outdoor gatherings of up to 15 people.
When asked if the gardaí is investigating whether the rally and its organisers breached COVID restrictions The Beacon received no comment from the Garda Press Office.
This article was updated on Sunday 11 October to include details about fireworks thrown at counter-protestors by the members of the far-right rally. The gardaí’s use of batons against the anti-fascist demonstrators has also been added.
And the number of arrests made has been updated.
Featured image via Screenshot