Updated March 18
It was an extraordinary event, with a diverse array of talented and committed people who read poetry, sang with spirit, spoke eloquently, and inspired the audience to STAND!
The archived video of the entire event is below. There is no information about how long it may be available, so watch it while you can.
And you should know: Gabriel did not attend after all. He, Richard Schiff, and Shaun King were not there, as far as I could tell, and I watched the entire event (I think, except for one brief bio-break smile ).
Still, I recommend it to you. It was as advertised: Irish, American, and Global voices raised in unity for justice and equality!
Also, to see quotes and get a flavor of some of the great words spoken at the event, read through the Twitter Timeline of @IrishStand. They captured a lot during the course of the evening.
🍀 🍀 🍀
Updated March 17
The 🍀 IRISH STAND 🍀 event is being live-streamed!
Here is the link: https://livestream.com/trcnyc/IrishStand
The page is not working yet, but should function when the event starts at 7:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.
Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 🍀
Updated March 12
Organizing for this event continues, with more creative people planning to participate, another major collaborator–Women’s March NYC– and a new goal: support for the New York office of the ACLU!
In the hopes of amplifying their objections to President Donald Trump and his policies, Irish and American progressive activists will host an event calling for human rights and welcoming immigrants on St. Patrick’s Day in New York City.
“Irish Stand,” as organizers are calling it, will take place in the Riverside Church on Manhattan’s West side on Friday evening. It will feature speeches from a number of Irish civil rights advocates, including Irish Labour Party Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, actor Gabriel Byrne, comedian Maeve Higgins and author Colum McCann, as well as prominent American faith leaders, artists and activists like Shaun King of the movement for black lives.
Tickets are $15 and the proceeds will go to the American Civil Liberties Union.
“It’s a big deal,” Ó Ríordáin said of the shamrock ceremony. “But the fact that this is the first Patrick’s day since Trump’s election, and the fact that the focus of this administration seems to be … a very negative view of immigrants, we feel is an affront to our people as Irish people. If they are to have a critical view of any immigrant people, then they have a critical view, to be honest, of us too.”
“Irish Stand” is also intended to signal that the Irish-Americans collaborating with Trump are out of touch with the national history of Irish people as immigrants fleeing persecution, Ó Ríordáin said. There are currently an estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants living in the United States as well, he noted.
“What we’re really conscious of, and what I’m really conscious of, is that quite a number of Irish-Americans surround Trump ― Bannon, Conway, Pence, Spicer, Flynn, Kelly ― these are all Irish-Americans, these are all Irish names ― Ryan,” Ó Ríordáin said, referring to top Trump administration officials and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). “These are all people that in my judgment have completely forgotten their family history, because the Irish story is one that has been replicated now by other people… We were once the people who came to America as refugees. We were viewed by the British as being terrorists. We were people who suffered sectarian discrimination in the United Kingdom and [in the U.S.] as well.”
So, this event is shaping up to be quite an experience of solidarity with citizens, immigrants, and refugees, in the United States, Ireland, and the world. We hope to bring you the proceedings via live-stream, so stay tuned for more information!
An evening of Irish, American, and global voices raised in unity
Heads up, everyone! This St. Patrick’s Day is going to be about much more than our usual celebration of Gabriel Byrne and all things Irish! Here’s the announcement from Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Labour Party Senator based in Dublin Bay North, in Ireland:
— Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (@AodhanORiordain) February 24, 2017
More about the event, scheduled for Friday, March 17, at 7:30pm in New York City:
Irish Stand will be an evening of multi-cultural prose, speech, song and wit. The evening’s guests include campaigner Shaun King, author Colum McCann, comedian Maeve Higgins, playwright Lisa-Tierney Keogh, actor Richard Schiff, and Irish Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin. An updated list of speakers and performers will be posted over the coming weeks.
Get your tickets! The event will be live-streamed, so stay tuned for more details!
Irish Stand takes place at the historic Riverside Church in New York City, where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous anti-war speech, Beyond Vietnam–A Time to Break the Silence, in 1967, almost fifty years ago.
It is famous for its large size and elaborate Neo-Gothic architecture as well as its history of social justice. It was described by The New York Times in 2008 as “a stronghold of activism and political debate throughout its 75-year history … influential on the nation’s religious and political landscapes.” It has been a focal point of global and national activism since its inception.
From the Irish Stand invitation:
“Yes, we must stand and we must speak,” Martin Luther King, Jr., The Riverside Church, 1967
We invite you to join us in an Irish Stand, a call for inclusivity, diversity, and human rights for our global citizenry. Irish Stand has been organized to coincide with Ireland’s National Holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. The story of the Irish, both home and abroad, is one of immigration, sectarianism, and oppression. We understand and echo the concerns of those communities who face fear and uncertainty. We are, therefore, compelled to raise our voices in the spirit of the late and great, Dr. King, and make a compassionate stand for unity.