Various protest and activist groups in Ireland have banded together in support of a rally defending public health as COVID-19 continues to affect the world.
The ‘Defend Public Health’ rally is set to begin at 1 PM at the Spire, and supporters are asked to maintain social distancing guidelines and wear a mask.
United Against Racism organised the protest and have since gained many other supporters, including Trans & Intersex Pride Dublin, the USI, Extinction Rebellion, ACT UP Dublin and many more.
According to the event’s Facebook page, the rally also aims to show solidarity with front line workers, oppose the far right, and to show support for various marginalised peoples.
They say that the far-right has latched on to the recent anti-mask protests which have manifested themselves across Ireland, Europe and the rest of the world.
“The racist far right are using anti-mask, anti-vaccine and other fears to promote themselves and their racist agenda,” they said. “In Dublin, they mobilised up to 2,000 at the Custom House on 22 August.”
They further state that many of the main figures behind these movements also hold racist, homophobic and bigoted views. It just so happens that their focus is on these anti-public health protests at the moment.
“At present they are focusing on other prejudices, bigotries and COVID-19 fears and doing so in the name of an utterly perverted version of Irish nationalism that is an insult to Connolly and Pearse and all they stood for,” they said.
Far-right groups have mounted several high profile protests in recent months – including one against Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman where attendants held signs with nooses.
The organisers of Saturday’s rally have emphasised that being anti-mask is being anti-worker, and the advice and expertise of health workers should be listened to.
“Join us for a peaceful, socially distant rally to give your support to our front line heroes in hospital; shops etc who are being put in danger by those who think COVID-19 is a conspiracy – not a disease.”
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