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Racism awareness Black Lives Matter protest held in Tralee in memory of George Nkencho

'We want to remind people that racism is still present even if it is not as discussed'

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The protest took place this afternoon

The protest took place this afternoon

The protest took place this afternoon

A Black Lives Matter protest has been staged in Tralee this afternoon to raise awareness of racism in Ireland.

Organised by BLM Kerry, their first protest in 2021 took place from 2 to 3pm in Tralee Town Square.

"This comes in light of the killing of George Nkencho late 2020," a statement from the organisers reads.

“BLM Kerry is spreading the message that racism and inequality of all sorts is still present in copious amounts."

Last week it was revealed that an inquest into the 27-year-old's death would be adjourned for six months pending the completion of an investigation into the fatal incident.

Mr Nkencho had allegedly assaulted a local shop worker and was armed with a knife when he was shot dead by armed gardaí outside his Clonee home on December 30 last.

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George Nkencho

George Nkencho

George Nkencho

Gardaí said at the time that they had unsuccessfully attempted to use non-lethal force before he was fatally injured.

According to Ben, “a young member of BLM”, they hope that today’s protest will show solidarity with those affected by racism and inequality, and to bring more awareness around racism in Ireland.

A founding member of the organisation, referred to as “Namejs", added: “We want to remind people that racism is still present even if it is not as discussed. Racism is present in high amounts even if it is not violent, the racist and sexist jokes made for the ‘craic’ need to be addressed.”

The statement adds that the protest will welcome two representatives from YARI (Youth Against Racism & Inequality) who will speak at the event. Following the protest, a discussion will later take place in the park on 'Fighting Racism & Capitalism'.

“This discussion will be themed around how young people can continue to fight against a system riddled with racism and inequality,” the statement adds.

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The protest will also consist of “chants and a minute of silence to remember those we have lost due to hate crimes”.

Organisers stressed that BLM Kerry takes the current Covid 19 situation “seriously “ and has implemented several safety measures including the fact that masks/face coverings and social distancing are mandatory at the event.

According to the statement, BLM Kerry was created in June 2020 by a small group of “committed young people who wanted to raise awareness of the racism and inequality that occurs right outside our doorstep & globally”.

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