rushthatspeaks: (Default)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
I went to the Boston counterprotest against the so-called 'free speech' (actually Confederates and neo-Nazis) rally on Saturday for a couple of hours. The energy was good, and there were a lot of people-- the radio said maybe fifty thousand counterprotestors and fifty or so Nazis, so we may literally have outnumbered them one thousand to one. The common was about as full as it was during the Womens' March, because people weren't as spread out marching; there were areas that were elbow-to-elbow and then areas where nothing much was going on and you could walk around.

There were of course many, many signs. I took one Ruth made with a graphic we got off Twitter, one of those red barred circles that mean NO over a glyph that combines a swastika and the number 45 so you can read it both ways. The person next to me on the T on the way over was also carrying a sign, so we started talking, and it turned out, completely coincidentally, that she is presently enrolled at the small liberal arts college my wife and I both went to, which is several states away. She had come up for the occasion. It was nice to have somebody there to have my back, since none of my family could make it.

We had been worried on the train about how things would go, but there were thorough barricades and we basically couldn't even see the actual Nazi types, let alone physically interact with them. Every so often one of them would break out a Confederate flag or something like that, at which point the police would immediately confiscate it. One of them got perp-walked away while I was there, but I didn't see what for. The police presence was huge and, while I was there, generally polite to us counterprotestors, although I understand they got more annoyed later. I have to say, the sirens that bike cops use are among the silliest things I have heard in quite a while, like putting a real police siren through a filter marked 'Yakkity Sax'.

There was one dude wandering around shouting about how he wanted to [insert violence and sexual profanity] Trump and Trump's children, but everybody he came near was shouting back at him to just shut up and go home. I couldn't tell his ethnicity beyond 'not white', but he was also wearing a hat with the Washington Racists' logo-- I mean their real logo-- and the crowd was not having with that either. So it was uncomfortable when he wandered by, but the crowd very clearly was not on his side and was not going to let him harass any individual people.

The most intense things got is that somebody set fire to a swastika flag, I believe with a blowtorch. It burned very hot and fast, to intense cheers, and produced a lot of smoke, but I think it had gone out entirely by the time the cops arrived-- it had clearly been timed for when the bike patrol was circling around the other end of the Common. At any rate, I don't believe anyone was arrested in connection with that.

I am proud of my city about this one. A lot of people in the crowd were worried about violence, I was worried about violence, my train-met friend was worried, and that worry was explicitly why we had to be there. Because no. We refuse to give up when things get scary.

It was a good counterprotest.

Date: 2017-08-21 04:26 am (UTC)
erinptah: (daily show)
From: [personal profile] erinptah
Hey, I was there!

I would say "maybe we saw each other," but, you know...fifty thousand people.

At first I wasn't worried about violence, based on having gone to a bunch of other marches in Boston that went fine. Then I got a little nervous based on the people around me having post-Charlottesville anxieties. Then the actual march went down pretty much like I was expecting -- good signs, good vibes, lots of walking.

Date: 2017-08-21 03:10 pm (UTC)
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
From: [personal profile] julian
Yay y'all!

I went over to the actual march at Roxbury Crossing, and so was slow-walking for so long that we didn't get to the Common until the white supremacists had left the building. Er, bandstand. (Not the building entire, alas, they were trying to cause issues down on Tremont around 3:30.)

Twitter says one of the white supremacists got arrested for something gun related, but I never saw that verified.

I saw a sign similar to yours, but it's a popular trend just now. (And actually, come to think, it was during the march, since I got to explain what it was to my co-marching brother.) I got my sign from the well-organized Socialists; I'm going to have to either stop doing that, or throw some money at them. Probably the latter. (I didn't really need a poster, since my "I stand with my Muslim neighbors" shirt was also a message, but their on-the-mark Holocaust image got me to take it.)

Date: 2017-08-21 10:40 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Viktor & Mordecai)
From: [personal profile] sovay
there were a lot of people-- the radio said maybe fifty thousand counterprotestors and fifty or so Nazis, so we may literally have outnumbered them one thousand to one.

I am glad to hear it. I hope our city will continue to turn out in those numbers—and practice its principles on an ongoing basis—whenever needed.

I think somehow I had not known that bike cops have sirens. I understand both why they would and why this would probably be hilarious no matter what.

Date: 2017-08-23 12:19 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] tilisokolov
Congrats on a successful rally! You've probably heard by now that your efforts have borne really excellent fruit: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/act-cancel-america-first-rallies-largest-anti-muslim-group-counter-protesters-a7906836.html

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