Protesters rally in Dublin against Trump visit
Protest organisers say the US president ‘threatens us all’ as Trump returns to Ireland
Thousands of protesters took part in a march through Dublin city centre, in opposition to US President Donald Trump, during his visit to Ireland.
From late Thursday afternoon a six-meter tall inflatable Trump baby blimp was raised over the Garden of Remembrance, the demonstration starting point.
The blimp is on loan from London, and protesters received permission to float the nappy-wearing Trump effigy in the city centre from the Irish Aviation Authority.
More than 40 campaign groups, political parties, and civil society organisations took part in the protest, co-ordinated under the “Stop Trump Ireland” umbrella.
The rain, which had threatened to lessen the turnout, held off as protesters gathered at 6pm at the Garden of Remembrance. Estimates of the total crowd numbers ranged from between 3,000 to 5,000.
Ciaran O’Carroll, an activist with environmental group Extinction Rebellion, spoke at a rally before the march.
“Trump is not the only leader who is a climate change denier. We do not have to look far from home. Climate delayers and climate change deniers are as good as each other,” he said.
“Now is the time for civil disobedience, now is the time to become a rebel because there’s no time after this.”
Political parties which took part in protest included the Green Party, Sinn Féin, the Social Democrats, People Before Profit, and Solidarity. Other groups included the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, campaign group Uplift, and trade union Unite.
Two Trump supporters wearing red Make America Great Again caps showed up to the protest, observing it from the outskirts, until a self-described anarchist snatched one of their caps and ran off with it.
Solidarity People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy said the siting US president was a “morbid symptom of a disgusting capitalist system in crisis,” which had brought the world to the edge of a climate crisis.
“We know the same hate-filled policies are attempting to be aped in this country,” and left wing activists should seek to oppose any far-right groups organising in Ireland, he added.
Party colleague Richard Boyd Barrett said Mr Trump was a “climate wrecker,” who only sought to sow division, and was “poison at every level”.
Mr Boyd Barrett also criticised Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who he called a “climate hypocrite,” due to delays from the Government acting on legislation passed by the Dáil, which would limit oil and gas drilling.
The large crowd marched down O’Connell Street, before looping back around past the GPO. However a spell of heavy rain during the march served to thin the number of demonstrators taking part.
A small number of protesters also continued to operate a “peace camp” outside of Shannon Airport, which will continue until Mr Trump leaves on Friday.
Up to 200 people attended a protest on Wednesday outside the airport to oppose Mr Trump’s visit to Ireland. After arriving at the airport on Wednesday, Mr Trump held a meeting there with Mr Varadkar, before travelling to his golf resort in Doonbeg, Co Clare.
The US president travelled to France for D-Day commemorations early on Thursday before returning to Ireland.