Protesting Racism in Boston Today

I just returned from Boston Common, where some 20,000 or so of us (probably more) showed up to protest an assortment of “free speech advocates,” whose numbers included some adherents of ideologies not noted for their support of free speech. I’m prepared to take the organizers at their word that it really was a free speech rally; if it was, they ought to declare it a success, given that the less than 100 or so fascist, fascist-adjacent and miscellaneous attendees had their opportunity to speak and the 20,000 or so of us there exercising our right to free speech had our opportunity to articulate the anti-fascist position. Although, from what I could see, that lonely 100 appeared to leave without saying much of anything. The declaration of the KKK that they would be there was apparently some sort of jest, as I didn’t see a single one. It was kind of anti-climactic; victory by default. The only hint of confrontation was middle fingers directed toward a van being escorted out by police, and a single projectile (Some kind of pastry? I couldn’t quite see) thrown at the rear window as it drove away. Speakers from several organizations were present and did quite well, although the sort of technical difficulties common to large protests were of course also present. The best sign I saw featured a black marker drawing of Hitler shooting himself, accompanied by the words “follow your leader.” One woman with a rainbow flag had a very friendly service dog, whose platform included planks dedicated to tail wagging, kisses and enjoying the sunshine. I saw people of all ages from a wide range of political perspectives and organizations, though the core was of course made up of stalwart revolutionaries. We began, quite appropriately, in front of the monument by the state house dedicated to the 54th Massachusetts. It was, all told, a good day.


Update: crowd estimates made by people who could actually see the entire protest are now up to 40,000, double my estimate based on what I personally saw yesterday.

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