January 18, 2021

Black Lives Matter vigil to be held in Waterford

A vigil is to be held in Waterford this weekend in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the death of yet another African American man at the hands of US Police.

This Saturday’s vigil has been organised by a number of local groups who want the people of Waterford to call out racism, but importantly while adhering to social distancing and the limits on travel.

The worldwide demonstrations follow the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week at the hands of police officers.

In graphic pictures seen all around the world, Mr Floyd died on camera after an officer pinned his neck down with his knee for nine minutes despite already having Floyd handcuffed and restrained. An independent autopsy and a state autopsy say George Floyd death was a homicide.

Protest marches and demonstrations are now well into their second week, however, some have led to violence and looting on the streets of US cities leading to widespread condemnation.

The Waterford event which will take place at 3pm at the Clock Tower and is co-hosted by Waterford Against Racism, MASI, Unite Against Racism, Al-Munir Islamic Centre Waterford, Anti- Deportation Ireland, Waterford Migrant Integration Forum and the Anomaly Music Collective.

The aim of the vigil is to display Waterford’s support for the family of George Floyd and the oppressed community in the USA, while also calling for an end to racism. It will also call upon politicians to end direct provision in Ireland, which sees thousands of people, many of them born here, remain in limbo while waiting to be processed.

In a post on the social media, the organisers highlighted the need for those who want to attend to obey the current lockdown restrictions, do not travel to the vigil if they live more than 5km from the city centre and to adhere to strict social distancing.

“We’ve been getting several messages from people outside of the 5 km travel restriction who want to come to the Black Lives Matter vigil on Saturday,” organisers said.

“We would ask those people to observe the restriction and instead send us a photo or video of themselves or their family with homemade placards sending solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement and opposing racism, and calling for an end to Direct Provision.

“For those inside the 5 km limit, we will plead with you all to bring a mask if you can.

“Bring a home placard or banner. We will not be shouting or chanting – again to minimize any possible spread of the coronavirus. We will stand in silence for one hour. We want this to be an event that people will be proud of,” the organisers concluded.


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