Say No to Hate

Around 200 protesters marched yesterday afternoon from Irishtown Garda station over Ringsend Bridge towards Google Headquarters in Barrow Street.

At the start of the Unicorners march from Irishtown Garda station, (photo by Gary Burke)

For the past three weeks, members of ACI, (AntiCorruption Ireland) the group founded by Gemma O’Doherty have been staging their protest against the removal of her accounts from several social media platforms.

Upon arrival at the unofficially named Speakers Corner both sides were separated through a Garda line up in the middle of the road and resorted to basically shouting at each other. That went against the Unicorners declared aim not to seek confrontation “We do not want any provocative actions from within our cohort and discourage any kind of close confrontation with the ACI people who are in situ outside Google’s offices.”

left side of picture: ACI protesters at entrance of Google Offices, (photo by Gary Burke)

Instead: tunes of YMCA went up against the Fields of Athenry, and a Unicorn ballon was staring down at tricolour flags waved by the ACI group.

Ireland does have the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989, but it is rarely enforced. ‘Act on’ this was the main demand of the Uniconers.

There also is the Garda Racial, Intercultural and Diversity Office (Grido) whose members are monitoring websites and online activities for spreading racism and inciting hatred.

A report by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) published in July 2018 found Ireland was lacking a specific law and that therefore existed a “policy vacuum”. A year later that is still the case. Yesterdays protest made clear that it needs to be addressed urgently.  

Online Editor