Hundreds of Pence protesters dance outside Dail

Hundreds took to the streets and danced in protest at Mike Pence's visit to Ireland with the message: "Mike Pence's values are rooted in an Ireland that doesn't exist".

Protest against Mike Pence

Hundreds of Pence demostrators used dance as a protest at the Disco at the Dail which was held by LGBT+ and human rights protesters outside the Dáil today against the visit of US Vice President Mike Pence to Ireland.

The Disco at the Dail was held as “a celebration of all the people that Pence and Trump’s cruel policies are hurting; women, refugees, migrants, and LGBTI people.”

Pence demonstrators turned to dance and bopped to songs such as the ‘YMCA’ and RuPaul’s ‘Sissy That Walk’ while holding rainbow flags and wearing Mike Pence masks.

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland gave a speech in which he highlighted the need for Irish citizens to make clear that the Ireland Pence thinks he knows, is not the one that exists.

“The best way for us to defeat hate is to be who we are, is to be courageous and bold, to send messages of solidarity around the world, particularly for a Vice President who makes much of his Irish roots.

“His grandfather left Ireland and emigrated to Chicago. He talks as if his values are somehow rooted in Irish values. I’d like him to access any values that he might hold, that are rooted in Irish values because as we’ve shown over the last couple of decades, our values are rooted in love, in compassion, in generosity, in equality, in a commitment to human rights: actually the founding principals of this Republic.

“So he does not get to assert Irish values or a commitment to a notion of an Irish republic if he’s not prepared to what Ireland has to say to him right now.

“Let’s also acknowledge that while we celebrate the country that we’re becoming, we’ve many things still to get right in this country as well.”

Mr O’Gorman also said that while we have made big strides over the last couple of decades, we have much more to do:

“When we look at the situation in Direct Provision when we look at issues around women’s rights more broadly in our society when we look at issues around racism and xenophobia which also exist in this country.

“We respond to hate by manifesting fierce courageous love, joyously and with purpose.”

 

‘Call me Leo’ 

Mike Pence meets Leo

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Matt Barrett has welcomed the US Vice President and Second-Lady to Farmleigh House in Dublin with the simple greeting: “Call me Leo.”

Pence also had a meeting with President Michael D Higgins.

Amongst a long list of issues from Brexit to the climate crisis, LGBT+ issues were expected to be discussed in the context of equality and human rights, a spokesperson said.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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