MORE THAN 150 people convened across two sites in Dublin to demonstrate in solidarity with the US protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.
One of the protests took place outside the Irish capital’s US Embassy in Ballsbridge with the other held in the city’s Phoenix Park.
Both demonstrations were peaceful, with attendees careful to maintain social distancing while chanting and holding placards in protest at the death of Mr. Floyd, an unarmed black man who died this past Monday in Minneapolis.
Mr. Floyd was filmed struggling to breathe while a police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck.
Signs reading “Black Lives Matter” ‘The World Is Watching’ and ‘Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere’ were present at both Dublin protests along with placards saying “I can’t breathe” - the words spoken by George Floyd in the footage.
About 100 people at the US Ambassador's residence in Phoenix Park today to stand in solidarity with those protesting the murder of George Floyd.#BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/LCDiqbKZOG
— Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin (@Ceannabhain) May 31, 2020
A preliminary autopsy carried out by the county medical examiner determined Mr. Chauvin had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
By then, officers had noted that Mr Floyd had been non-responsive for almost three minutes. Two minutes before the knee was removed, one officer had also been unable to find a pulse.
A peaceful socially distanced protest kicking off outside @USAmbIreland in Phoenix Park #BlackLivesMatter #RIPGeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/0RC5SPsZqb
— Síobhra Quinlan (@SiobhraQuinlan) May 31, 2020
Speaking to Breaking News, one Dublin protestor said: “There needs to be systemic change, from the bottom up.”
Those sentiments were echoed by another Irish demonstrator, who told the news provider: “I don’t think everyone is out because of that one incident. It’s just the buildup of it.”
Solidarity/ People Before Profit TD Brid Smith was in attendance and addressed those in attendance.
PBP TD Bríd Smith addressed the demo, drawing a link between systemic racism in the US and the direct provision system here. pic.twitter.com/xK25ESFv2h
— Stephen Bourke (@AnBurcach) May 31, 2020
At one point, protestors began going down on one knee and raising one fist into the air in a moment of silence.
Many present were also protesting against direct provision in Ireland, a system that sees asylum seekers housed in centres while their claim for refugee status are processed.
Black lives matter protest at US Embassy, Ballsbridge ✊#BlackLivesMatter #GeorgeFloydProtests #Dublin pic.twitter.com/Of8klwMjPU
— Anna Heverin (@annaheverin) May 31, 2020
Similar peaceful protests were staged outside US embassies in London and Berlin.
They follow massive demonstrations in Minneapolis and across at least 30 cities across the US.
Though they began as largely peaceful protests this past Saturday, May 30, violence flared up later in the day at demonstrations held in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia and San Francisco to name but a few.
#BlackLivesMatter solidarity protest at the US ambassadors residence in Dublin, Ireland. Yesterday saw a protest at Free Derry Wall several more are scheduled #JusticeForGeorge#EndDirectProvision#SolidarityFromDublin pic.twitter.com/skme4Mntv6
— Workers Solidarity (@WSMIreland) May 31, 2020
Governors in several US states have already introduced curfews in an attempt at curbing the protests while National Guard troops have also been called in with unrest continuing to intensify.