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Nicholl: There are alternative means of demonstrating support

Ahead of rallies and protests this weekend, Councillor Kate Nicholl has said:

"We recognise the depth of feeling in reaction to the murder of George Floyd, and fully support everyone’s democratic right to protest, even more so when it is in support of the basic human right for everyone to be treated equally regardless of their race.

“However, in these times, we are very concerned about the potential that large gatherings have to reverse the containment of Covid-19, and the impact that would have on all of our families, especially those most at risk, parents, grandparents, those with underlying health conditions.

“Rallies have long been a very effective tool in activism and demonstrating public support for important causes - Alliance have been present at many of these. We also fully stand behind the Black lives Matter campaign; but our first thought has to be to public safety, and we can't support the rally tomorrow with this in mind.

“There are alternative means of demonstrating your support without gathering in crowds - we urge everyone to consider these alternatives, whether that is holding acts of remembrance with friends and family, talking to your children about racism, educating yourself or however you best see fit. The real alternative is not to suppress the right to protest, but to protect the most vulnerable in our society."