Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017|10 a.m.
BOSTON– Thousands of leftist counterprotesters marched through downtown Boston on Saturday, chanting anti-Nazi mottos and waving indications condemning white nationalism as conservative activists rallied a week after a Virginia demonstration turned fatal.
Authorities Commissioner William Evans stated Friday that 500 officers– some in uniform, others undercover– were deployed to keep the two groups apart Saturday. Boston’s Democratic mayor, Marty Walsh, and Massachusetts’ Republican guv, Charlie Baker, both cautioned that extremist discontent wouldn’t be tolerated in this city famed as the cradle of American liberty.
Organizers of the midday occasion, billed as a “Free Speech Rally,” have publicly distanced themselves from the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and others who fomented violence in Charlottesville on Aug. 12. A lady was killed at that Join the Right rally, and scores of others were injured, when a car raked into counterdemonstrators.
However opponents feared that white nationalists may show up in Boston anyway, raising the specter of awful confrontations in the very first possibly large and racially charged gathering in a major U.S. city because Charlottesville.
Occasions are planned around the country, in cities including Atlanta, Dallas and New Orleans.
Walsh welcomed counterprotesters Saturday morning outside Reggie Lewis Center in the city’s Roxbury community. Counterprotesters from Black Lives Matter and other groups knocking bigotry and anti-Semitism marching from there to the Common, and another group plans to rally on the steps of the Statehouse neglecting the sprawling park.
Some counterprotesters dressed entirely in black and used bandannas over their faces. They chanted anti-Nazi and anti-fascism mottos, and waved indications that stated: “Love your neighbor,” “Withstand fascism” and “Hate never ever made U.S. great.” Others carried a big banner that checked out: “SMASH WHITE SUPREMACY.”
Boston police approximated the size of the crowd participating in the march to the Typical at about 15,000. In stark contrast, just several lots individuals have turned out for the conservative rally itself.
TELEVISION electronic cameras revealed a group of boisterous counterprotesters on the Typical chasing a guy with a Trump campaign banner and cap, shouting and swearing at him. However other counterprotesters stepped in and assisted the guy safely over a fence into the location where the conservative rally was to be staged. Black-clad counterprotesters likewise grabbed an American flag from an elderly woman’s hands, and she stumbled and was up to the ground.
The authorization provided for the rally on Boston Common included severe restrictions, consisting of a restriction on backpacks, sticks and anything that might be used as a weapon. The authorization is for 100 individuals, though an organizer has actually stated he anticipated approximately 1,000 people to participate in.
The Boston Free Speech Coalition, which arranged the occasion, said it has absolutely nothing to do with white nationalism or bigotry and its group is not connected with the Charlottesville rally organizers in any way.
“We are strictly about complimentary speech,” the group said on its Facebook page. “… we will not be offering our platform to racism or bigotry. We denounce the politics of supremacy and violence.”
But the mayor explained that a few of those invited to speak “gush hate.” Kyle Chapman, who described himself on Facebook as a “proud American nationalist,” stated he will attend.
Black Lives Matter said Friday that members from around the United States planned to march Saturday in Boston.
Walsh stated the city would do whatever is required to avoid violence started by either side. “If anybody leaves control– at all– it will be shut down,” he stated.
“We will not endure any misbehavior, violence or vandalism whatsoever,” said Evans, Boston’s top police.
Dating to 1634, Boston Common is the nation’s oldest city park. The leafy downtown park is popular with locals and travelers and has been the scene of many rallies and demonstrations for centuries.