Use Common Sense In Relation To Public Protest In A Pandemic
Aontú Leader & Meath-West TD Peadar Tóibín has stated “The brutal murder of George Floyd in the USA was heart breaking to see on our TV screens in the last week. The fact that such levels of racism exist in the US in 2020 is both heart breaking and the cause of deep frustration for so many of us. For a country such as ours with such deep ties to the USA, to see it burn night after night with such violence is distressing. It is radically important that there is justice for George Floyd and that racism is systematically rooted out in the US but also in every other country”.
“It can be easier to identify racism and prejudice abroad than at home. Many people are rightly angry at what is happening in the States, but are oblivious to what is happening to Travellers right here in Ireland. We need fix our own failings here in Ireland too”.
“In relation to the protest our response needs reflect the health pandemic that exists in this country. It is ludicrous for thousands of people to march in a manner where social distancing is impossible in the middle of a pandemic. It is wrong for organisers who last week called on people to protect front line workers to this week dismiss that threat and organise another mass gathering”.
It is hypocritical to say to workers, bereaved families, small businesses; “take the pain, financial and emotional of the lock down to protect the vulnerable and front-line workers while we go out and march in out thousands this weekend. Political leaders need to have a backbone here and speak clearly. That the CMO can clearly state that these marches are a threat to public health and the Taoiseach cant is worrisome”.
“Public protest is a key element of a liberal democratic society. But Common Sense is also needed. Let us suppress this virus, get the country back to normal as quickly and as safely as possible and then let voices for justice be heard in unison”.