“On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an African-American man, was killed in the Powderhorn community of Minneapolis, Minnesota. While Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on a city street during an arrest, Derek Chauvin, a white American Minneapolis police officer, kept his knee on the right side of Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; according to the criminal complaint against Chauvin, 2 minutes and 53 seconds of that time occurred after Floyd became unresponsive.” – Wikipedia, Killing of George Floyd.
The US is currently seeing sustained mass uprising in multiple locations in response to the murder of George Floyd specifically, and the onslaught of targeted police violence against black people in general. Each one of these incidents is tragic, but its unmistakable pattern has been repeatedly brushed off by the establishment. At some point in the last week or so, I saw a post on twitter claiming that the end of Sanders’ presidential campaign was not the end of the revolution but of negotiation. It felt like wishful thinking then, but seeing my facebook and twitter feeds consumed by people talking about this event makes me reconsider.
Simultaneously, it’s worth noting that here in Ireland, while a great many people have (rightfully) been disgusted and outraged by events in the US, a system of for-profit incarceration based off of racial discrimination and anti-immigrant sentiment continues with shamefully little recognition. Even during a pandemic, our government has continued to enforce and fund the confining of migrants. Direct Provision is abhorrent and needs to end.
A protest will be taking place on Saturday, June 6th at 3pm outside the US Embassy in Dublin which members of the Affinity Collective will be attending – we encourage everyone who can attend to do so and remember, mask up to prevent the spread of coronavirus. We also recommend donating to organisations such as MASI, MERJ and Black Pride in Ireland, and others overseas.