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The anxiety levels were on full alert, with no certainty that all would stay calm. It did stay calm and the day was declared a big success for those on the side of social justice, equity and real freedom.
I witnessed the August 19th Boston Protest March and Rally with my own eyes at Boston Common. 40,000 strong. And I witnessed the quiet escape of the 50 or so alt-right Boston Free Speech rally participants get escorted off the Parkman Bandstand by the police to ensure their safety.
Today’s show will give you all of the details of why this modern day civil rights march was indeed the right thing to do and why the world needed to see it happen in Boston.
About The March and Rally
The Boston Free Speech Rally took place at the Boston Common on August 19, 2017 The organizers and participants were characterized as adherents of the alt-lite, a loosely organized right-wing political movement. Around 50 people attended the rally, and they were met by tens of thousands of counter-protesters.The rally was organized by John Medlar and others in the Boston Free Speech Coalition.It was intended to feature Kyle Chapman, Joe Biggs, Shiva Ayyadurai, and Samson Racioppi as speakers, although the rally ended before all of the speeches were made.
Police erected barricades and blocked streets near the rally, and weapons of any kind were banned.The city planned for around 500 police officers to be present for the event.
The alt-lite rally ended early, and all rally attendees left the Parkman Bandstand by 12:50 pm. Most of the planned speeches did not take place, although Republican Senate candidate Shiva Ayyadurai gave a speech to other rallygoers making reference to "fake news" describing the rally as a Nazi event. Samson Racioppi, who was scheduled to speak, said "I really think it was supposed to be a good event by the organizers, but it kind of fell apart."
The rally drew only a handful of attendees, while between 30,000 and 40,000 people participated in the counter-protest. The counter protesters were organized by Black Lives Matter, various Faith-based organizations, trade unions, the NAACP and other social justice groups. The event was largely peaceful, with no injuries reported as of the afternoon of August 19. A total of 33 people were arrested, largely for disorderly conduct. There were a few arrests for assaults on police officers. During a news conference in the afternoon of August 19, Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said that some rocks and bottles filled with urine had been thrown at police officers but that over all there was "very little injury and property damage."