Police arrested 27 demonstrators at Saturday’s free speech rally in Boston amidst concerns of possible violence following events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump: ”Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, and we will heal, and be stronger than ever before!’
Protesters in Boston Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News
Demonstrations in Boston Common: A free speech rally was met with thousands of demonstrators as activists from both sides of the political divide converged on Boston today (Saturday). The police were on heightened alert and arrested at least 27 demonstrators- this in light of the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia where 32-year-old Heather Heyer was plowed to death by a white nationalist who drove into the crowd of counter-protesters.
According to the organizing party, the Boston Free Speech Coalition, they invited “libertarians, conservatives, traditionalists, classical liberals, Trump supporters or anyone else who enjoys their right to free speech” to the event. According to the Free Speech Movement’s twitter page, they “denounce all violence” and encouraged marchers not to bring any weapons or to antagonize other groups and law enforcement personnel in the vicinity. “Our goal is to preserve the 1st Amendment for all persons and provide a public forum for dialogue,” they tweeted. “Anyone engaging in violent or aggressive acts is not a member of our movement and will be reported to Law Enforcement as approproate.”
Trump: “Sometimes you need protest in order to heal” Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News
Protesting against them is a coalition of mostly left-wing organizations, led by the Black Lives Matter movement. Though the free speech rally was granted a permit, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said: “Make no mistake: we do not welcome any hate groups to Boston and we reject their message. We have made it clear that we will not tolerate incitements to violence or any threatening behavior.”
US President Donald Trump was quick to respond to the events and praised the law enforcement officers as well as Mayor Walsh for “looking tough and smart” in light of “anti-police agitators” in Boston. “Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before!” Trump tweeted, adding “I want to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!”