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Politicians and business leaders in Derry call for tomorrow's 'Black Lives Matter' rally in the city to be called off

"We want to ensure that front line workers are not put under more pressure," says Unity of Purpose group

Colum Eastwood

Foyle MP Colum Eastwood is among those calling for tomorrow's rally to be called off.

Politicians and business leaders in Derry have called for tomorrow's planned 'Black Lives Matter' rally in the city to be called off.

The rally is scheduled to take place in the Guildhall Square at 3pm.

It has been organised by the North West Migrants Forum in support of the campaign which is gaining worldwide attention in the wake of the recent killing of George Floyd in the US.

Although the organisers of the Derry rally have insisted that they will be following social distancing guidelines and encouraging other safety measures among participants, concern has been expressed about bringing a large group of people together during the coronavirus lockdown.

This evening, the Unity of Purpose group, which consists of local MPs, MLAs, the Mayor and statutory and business leaders in Derry, urged the organisers to call off tomorrow's event.

In a statement, the group said: "We all understand, support and acknowledge the reasons for wanting to host a rally in Guildhall Square at 3pm on Saturday 6th June in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign.

"We realise that the organisers have asked for a socially-distanced gathering, but we would urge the organisers to call this protest off.

"During the Covid-19 outbreak, the people of our city have been exemplary in caring for each other by following all the guidelines from the Executive as we fight this pandemic and our efforts have undoubtedly saved lives.

"We want to ensure that front line workers are not put under more pressure from the potential spread of this deadly virus via mass gatherings, and people moving through the city in order to go to and from such events.

"Let’s find another way of supporting this very worthy cause," the statement concluded.

 

ENDS

 
Note to editors:

 

The Unity of Purpose group consists of local MPs, MLA’s, the Mayor and statutory and business leaders within the city of Derry~Londonderry.

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