Solidarity group want to highlight issues with racism in Ireland

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A SOCIALLY distanced Black Lives Matter Solidarity Rally was held in Adamstown on Saturday June 13, to show solidarity with people who are protesting against racism and police brutality in the US, and to highlight issues with racism in Ireland.

A group of approximately 50 people took part in the rally, where they donned masks and adhered to social distancing measures, to show solidarity with those who are seeking justice for George Floyd in the US, and to show the need for change in Ireland.

Adamstown Rally 04 compressor

Some of the people at the rally in Adamstown on Saturday

Winifred Ikhine Akinyemi, one of the event’s organisers, told The Echo: “We wanted everyone to come together and stand in solidarity with the global outreach of people protesting about what happened to George Floyd.

“We also wanted to put the issue of racism in Ireland on the table, and talk about it.

“It’s an uncomfortable discussion, but to arrive at any transformative change we need to be uncomfortable, and I think that right now is the time for the community and this country to do that.”

Last August, the United Nations’ human rights anti-racism watchdog informed the Irish government that the State was failing to sufficiently tackle racism and discrimination in this country.

Those who marched on Saturday wanted to convey this message and, as a result of the ongoing pandemic, they also provided face masks, adhered to social distancing, and advised those that were ill or in a high-risk category to “show solidarity from home”.

Winifred, who works in international relations and is the voluntary chairperson of the Adamstown Community Summer Camp, added: “We’ve all been affected by the pandemic, and we didn’t want a risk to ourselves or to others, so we gave people mandatory face masks.”

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