UCDSU to attend TCD BDS rally on Saturday

Image Credit: UCD Students' Union

The Trinity College Dublin Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (TCD BDS) campaign have announced that they are going to hold a rally in support of Palestine, in place of a similar rally organised by the Irish-Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), which was cancelled due to Garda warnings.

UCDSU will be attending the Saturday rally at the Spire, at the same time and location as the IPSC rally was due to be held. According to theJournal.ie, An Garda Síochána contacted IPSC to inform them that if the rally exceeded 15 people, organisers could be prosecuted. Organisers of the TCD BDS rally have stated that; “The rally will be socially distanced and participants must wear masks. UCD Students' Union and other student bodies are supporting the rally”

A Press statement from TCD BDS stated: “We feel that a message needs to be sent to the Irish Government that they must take action on the horrific persecution of Palestinians, and we will not stand for their complacency. We also want to send a message to all Palestinians that we stand in solidarity with their struggles and are answering the call of the BDS movement to take collective action against the crimes of Israel.”

A TCD BDS spokesperson said; “We recognise that the IPSC has had to cancel their protest for fear of legal repercussions, which could seriously harm the organisation and their members. We condemn the Gardaí’s attempt to criminalize a peaceful, socially distanced protest”. A spokesperson for TCD BDS told The University Observer; “As a group, we think it’s important to take a stand for this issue. I would just point out the hypocrisy that they are starting to open up retail which is arguably more dangerous in terms of Covid transmission than socially distanced protest”. They added that; “It seems hypocritical to come down heavy on [protests] that when we are starting to open up the economy again”.

Speaking to The University Observer, UCDSU President Conor Anderson stated: "We have every intention of going forward, I have every intention of being there. I just read the IPSC article, and I have to say I find it a little ironic that the Gardaí are citing these health concerns when they have been showing up in force to break pickets and drag away Debenhams workers. It seems a little disingenuous to me that they are raising these concerns...I think what’s happening in Sheik Jarrah is absolutely despicable”. UCDSU was mandated to support the BDS movement during the 2019/20 academic year.