Trump protests: where and when are they taking place in Ireland

Protest groups call for Irish Government to stand up for justice, equality and human rights

Protest banner hangs over the Liffey in Dublin. Photograph: Sorcha Pollak

Protest banner hangs over the Liffey in Dublin. Photograph: Sorcha Pollak

 

As Donald Trump prepares to rest his hand on the bible and be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States at the Capitol in Washington DC later today, hundreds of thousands around the world are gathering to protest the inauguration of the property mogul and reality TV star.

In Ireland, the first protest against Trump kicked off at 10am on Friday when a group of activists representing a number of migrant support groups dropped a banner from Dublin’s Ha’penny bridge which read ‘Bridges Not Walls - Love Trumps Hate’.

Shane O’Curry, director of the European Network Against Racism (Enar) Ireland which organised the banner drop, said the action was not only a protest against Trump but also to raise awareness of “politicians and media across Europe and the West who are creating a ‘new normal’ where bigotry and extreme right wing views are accepted as an everyday part of life.”

Aga Wiesyk, also from Enar Ireland, warned that even though Ireland had not yet witnessed the rise of extreme right-wing groups like in other parts of Europe and the world, hate crime is on the rise and this small island is still vulnerable to the rhetoric of the alt-right.

“Ireland is a small country but it’s still quite an important country in promoting human rights. If we just stand and watch what’s happening without opposing it, this could happen in Ireland as well.”

Teresa Buczkowska from the Immigrant Council of Ireland said the banner drop was an expression of Irish people’s solidarity with those who will be directly affected by Mr Trump’s policies.

“The Irish Government has to make sure that this will not happen in Ireland, that Irish society will remain equal and will honour and celebrate diversity.

“It’s crucial that Enda Kenny and the Irish government express that we, as a society, do not support his politics. We want to see equality, diversity, justice in the world.”

Tom Plank, former chair of Republicans Abroad Ireland who stepped down after Mr Trump won the primaries, says he’s happy with the new president’s cabinet picks but doubts Trump will last longer than one term.

“Trump is a character, he’s very unique and he’s not going to be around forever.”

Mr Plank said Republicans who do not agree with Mr Trump’s policies should remain in the party and prepare for the next election rather than panicking and stepping away. Asked whether anti-Trump Republicans would rally against the new president, Mr Plank said:”We have tried on a full on assault and that did not work, he won regardless and now he’s in the administration. What can be done now is exerting influence on the cabinet picks.

“Republicans should stay in the party, not leave, and get ready to rebuild it when he’s gone. What if he loses his next election which I think is going to happen.”

On Friday afternoon, a protest will take place at the Central Bank Plaza in Dublin’s city centre at 5pm to coincide with Mr Trump’s inauguration.

Meanwhile, preparations are underway for a number of Women’s marches which are taking place on Saturday in Dublin, Galway, Belfast and Castlebar as part of the international ’Women’s March on Washington’.

In Dublin, the the Women’s March will kick off at 12pm at the Garden of Remembrance, while in Galway, things will begin at 2pm at Eyre Square. The march in Belfast begins at 3pm at Belfast City Hall and the Castlebar march, which begins at Market Square, will also set off at 3pm.

The idea behind these Women’s Marches began when retired-lawyer and grandmother Teresa Shook from Hawaii created a Facebook page the night after Mr Trump’s election suggesting a protest. Two months later, there are expected to be thousands of ‘sister marches’ taking place across the globe with millions calling for recognition of human rights, dignity and justice. To find out more about protests in Ireland, the US and around the world, visitwomensmarch.com.