A hundred people turned up for the Galway Black Lives Matter solidarity demo called by Galway Anti-Racism Network, including members of Galway Traveller Movement, Anti-Deportation Ireland, People Before Profit, locals and tourists. Events were also held in Dublin and Cork. People wanted to express their feelings from shock and compassion to anger and frustration as police killings of black people continues in the US.
Such demonstrations show we care, and send messages of solidarity to the families of the victims and the African-American communities. They build confidence and defiance within the movement. They raise issues that need to be addressed over the role of police forces, racism, and oppression in society, not just in the States.
There is also a link with what is happening here. Many people can see the institutionalised racialism in Ireland.
The treatment of asylum seekers is but one example. Over 60 people have lost their lives whilst living under the Direct Provision System yet no official data compilation is kept of their names, nationalities or cause of death. Asylum seekers have themselves positioned the dehumanizing experience of direct provision as a threat to life.
Some of the many asylum seekers deported out of the country would have lost their lives too. As far as we know the most recent was Mohamed Ali Sleyum, who was deported from Ireland to Tanzania in April 2014 and within hours of arriving in Tanzania, was badly beaten and died a few days later from his injuries.
To tackle and end racism we must also fight against all injustice , poverty and war, the root cause being the very system of Capitalism.