The dangerous anti-mask rally in Dublin on Saturday last, not only endangered the health of those attending, and anyone who had contact with them, it also provided a flag of convenience for right wing extremists who have been trying to build support during the pandemic.
While the event was described as an opportunity for people to defy the safety advice given by the state agencies, and protest at the Government, many of the organisations and groups that took part were pushing other, more sinister agendas.
People who are willing to risk the health of their families, their friends and members of the public by supporting further rallies to flout social distancing and congregate without masks, are threatening the health of frontline workers who are risking their well-being and their lives every day to keep us all safe.
The insult to heroic frontline workers is not the only harm that people will do by joining any future marches in this campaign. Many will be happy to stand with the small right wing parties and groups which are identified as sponsoring this campaign. They should realise that sinister, dangerous and well-resourced organisations are using this campaign to promote racism, bigotry and violence.
We call on all to take care of those who take care of us by supporting workers in the health service, including those who carry out life-saving medical procedures while wearing surgical masks for hours without suffocating, suffering oxygen deprivation or getting sick. We can do that by being responsible, keeping social distance, wearing masks when advised to, and looking out for each other.
We call on all to also reject the Far Right events which are disguised as protests against Government policies, when they are intended to build support for anti-democratic movements.