AN TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has spoken out against the dangers of racism and said the world must 'come together' in order to defeat it.
Mr Varadkar's comments come amid the seventh day of unrest in the United States following the killing of George Floyd by white police officer Derek Chauvin.
Protests have spread across the United State and the world, with a thousands-strong protest taking place in Dublin yesterday against racism and police brutality.
Protesters wearing face coverings marched down O’Connell Street and past Trinity College on their way to Grafton Street and the city centre, with demonstrators chanting "Say the name, George Floyd" and "Black Lives Matter" during the peaceful protest.
Many protesters were also marching to call an end to Direct Provision centres, Ireland's system of asylum seeker accommodation which has been criticised by human rights movement as inhumane-- one centre in Limerick was closed in January following consistent highlighting the conditions residents were subjected to.
Massive turnout for #BlackLivesMatter in Dublin, Ireland today in full solidarity with #JusticeforGeorgesFloyd ! #DefundPolice #protests2020 #GeorgeFloydProtests #RacistInChief
— Keefy🇪🇺 #BlackLivesMatter (@Keefabix) June 1, 2020
Mr Varadkar took to Twitter yesterday evening where he said racism is "a virus that we have been fighting for millenia".
"Despite the progress we have made, it is no less virulent today and no less dangerous," he stated.
"We need to show solidarity as people of all races [and] backgrounds around the world come together to stop its spread and defeat it."
Racism is a virus that we have been fighting for millennia. Despite the progress we have made, it is no less virulent today and no less dangerous. We need to show solidarity as people of all races & backgrounds around the world come together to stop its spread and defeat it.
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) June 1, 2020
The officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck until he died, Derek Chauvin, has been arrested and charged with third degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
However, protesters are fighting for him to be charged with first degree murder, and for the three other officers who stood by and did nothing to also be arrested and charged.
At a press briefing in the White House rose garden yesterday, President Donald Trump announced he would be sending in the army to deal with protesters, as police fired tear gas on peaceful demonstrators outside the Government building as he spoke.
"I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults and the wanton destruction of property," he said.
Mr Floyd's killing has led to the most widespread unrest in the United States since the 1968 murder of civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
Riots erupted across the nation for eight days following Dr King's assassination.
Further Irish protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement are planned in cities across Ireland in the coming days.