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As Alt-Right Gathers in Boston, Tens of Thousands Counter With Rally to 'Fight Supremacy'


#1

As Alt-Right Gathers in Boston, Tens of Thousands Counter With Rally to 'Fight Supremacy'

Jake Johnson, staff writer

This post may be updated.

"I couldn't see the end of this crowd with binoculars," wrote freelance journalist Britni de la Cretaz after looking on at the crowd gathered in Boston Saturday to counter a planned alt-right "free speech" rally.


#2

Love Trumps Hate Again!


#3

One other thing people can do in fighting racism is sign petition for Colin Kaepernick who has been blacklisted by the NFL team owners - Kaepernick had the integrity and commitment to “take a knee” to protest hypocrisy and racism - a very visible statement that made him a target. Standing against racism can have consequences and Colin did so before the current activism, he deserves our support.

Sign petition to support the Baltimore Ravens signing Colin Kaepernick as their Quarterback.


#4

Some things we can do to counter racism is fight for an end to unjust wars on brown people, come out in these numbers when unarmed blacks are shot in the streets and Indian Americans are attacked while protecting their land and our water fighting the Dakota Access pipeline. Come out in these numbers to fight for a living wage, access to free education, and single-payer health care for all as a right.


#5

Could one be against monuments to soldiers and against racism? Could one be against some abortions, but for birth control? For gun ownership but against war? For psychedelic drugs but against drug addiction? For conservatives despite their authoritarianism, fear, hatred and murder of millions? For liberals despite their wimpish love, peace and equality for all? For religions despite their terrorists, bantustans, misogyny, homophobia, pedophilia, atrocities and crusades? For financial Casinos despite Zionist banksters, Saudi oil princes, oligarchs, corruption, grand theft, bribery? For a Drug War despite the Prison/Industrial Complex? For sold out politicians despite a rigged system?

To effect change, one has to present a unified front by joining a party even if one does not agree with its entire platform. In that sense, political parties hinder democracy. We could instead unite around issues direct online democratically.


#6

Thanks for the links.


#7

Gosh, given Trump’s take on Charlottesville I was expecting to see lots of guns, helmets and shields carried by the protesters. Suppose Trump was lying again??? Peaceful counter demonstrations count on numbers which they definitely had. Only Donald Custer Trump would take on such overwhelming numbers.


#8

This puts a lie to the neolib/lib/prog meme that it’s better not to show up in force.


#9

I don’t see where it is clear that this was an alt-right event. I am not sure what it was. It certainly was nothing like the white nationalist event in Charlottesville. But whatever it was I think the city of Boston and the police were prepared and did a good job. Only a small group showed up for the rally and they weren’t allowed to bring in anything that could be used as a weapon. The people protesting the rally were kept hundreds of feet away from the people at the rally using barricades. The whole area was cordoned off with large vehicles. I believe a few anti-fas poeple showed up but were not involved in any altercations. Supposedly some KKK people did attend the rally but did not wear anything that would make them easy to identity. Other places should take a lesson from how Boston handled this although at this rally a large number of white nationalists were not present and in places that they do show up things could be much harder to control.


#10

maybe now my city of Berkeley in California will be courageous enuf to march against these nazi white supremacists. Staying away or at home is NOT THE ANSWER. BRAVO TO COURAGEOUS BOSTONIANS AND OTHERS WHO PROBABLY JOINED IN FROM SURROUNDING AREAS showing the rest of us how you respond to hate mongers and perpetrators of violence. Reminds me of revolutionary days in the 1770’s.


#11

Boston, you rock…You make me proud.
Take note, Bay Area; next week’s our turn.


#12

Here is another link with great background material and data - 172,216 signers so far - please read - thank you all for supporting a man of integrity and courage! Colin showed what he’s made of, lets show that we are also active by supporting his stand via this petition and/or letters to the Baltimore Ravens organization to sign Colin to the team!

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” – Colin Kaepernick, August 26, 2016


#13

Battle lines are drawn and Trump will lose!


#14

OK that seems to have gone well!–We out here in San Francisco are hearing of fears about the upcoming White Supremacy rally on Sat. (8/26) at Crissy Field, federal land, part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area, on which people may legally carry guns–There are calls to somehow deny the Nazis and KKKers permits, but that might backfire, causing them to go marching on city streets–Others call to ignore them and they’ll go away–I think the Boston experience shows the way to go, I can’t imagine the White Nationalists will amount to a very large number, even though probably most if not all of them are people who come into SF from outside–The counter demonstration, like the one in Boston should be huge, and the Neo-Nazis will slink away, saying “nevermind”


#15

Have you listened to “The Terminator” on Trump and the Nazis? And this guy is a republican.


#16

Arnold has always been a rino. He is progressive on social issues and more conservative on economic issues. But he has never been as frothy at the mouth on the economy as others are.
He is ‘handy’ with the women though like Trump. He supports LGBT rights, climate change, and some others. No on gun control, yes on tax cuts and some others that republicans like.


#17

I wouldn’t say that. What would have happened? A few speeches with a couple of hundred people listening. No press coverage because the police didn’t let the press in. But, there does need to be protest demonstrations of some sort. People have to get out into the streets showing they oppose these white nationalists. Whatever the strategy is, direct confrontation and fighting should be avoided. That just lets the white nationalists claim they are victims when they try to speak or march.


#18

Boston Commons

Has a Beautiful ring to it

Thank You Boston


#19

I spent hours today watching live streaming video from a TruthDig corespondent who clearly identified as being one of the Counter Protestors. I also did research into the organizers of the rally.

First of all this was not an Alt-Right rally, much less a White Supremacist Rally. The TruthDig streamer constantly referred to the rally folks as Alt-Right. But they did not self identify as that. In fact they said that they were conservatives, libertarians, progressives, and anyone else was welcome.

What they were rallying for wasn’t White Supremacy but Free Speech.

Now it seems that the people who organized the Free Speech Rally are Alt-Right folk themselves and the speakers are Alt-Right folk too, although their agenda did list one pro-Bernie speaker. A lot of the attendees were holding Trump signs or wearing Trump hats, but there were no Nazi or Confederate symbols or weapons.

Someone here mentioned they had no weapons and it could be construed it was the Boston Police who were behind that. Actually the organizers of the Free Speech rally required that no one bring anything that could be a weapon and made it clear if someone showed up with one they’d have the police escort them out. They also insisted that no one with Nazi or Confederate symbols or other hate symbols were welcome and again, they’d have the police escort them out. They made a big point of the rally being non-violent. They said it was to be peaceful and a place for people of all political positions to listen to each other respectfully even if they disagree.

I’m not sure what the rally was about. I’m not sure if it really was just about Free Speech or if they were using Free Speech as a way to give speeches promoting White Supremacy or other Alt-Right ideas. I don’t know.

I do know this. All the rally attendees in the video, a video being made by a man antagonistic to them, were calm, friendly, cooperative with him, and denied they were Nazis or Supremacists. He seemed very frustrated because he thought they were sidestepping his questions when they’d answer the way they did saying they were there for other reasons.

Another thing I know is that I did see lots of hate- it all came from Counter Protesters. This is where I need to say I despise Nazis and I’m for removing Confederate statues and I have been a Black Lives Matter supporter since before it was given a name. But it still is true it was the counter-protesters who were hateful, who mainly were White. It was scary in fact. Foul language, screaming, chasing young teen Trump supporters in Trump hats, not listening to their answers when questioned and then asking more “Have you stopped beating your wife yet” type questions, and punching a fellow.

The streamer showed the police having to escort the fellow who was punched by a counter protester away using their bikes as barricades. He reflected on this later and wondered if they arrested him, not the fellow who punched him, but the Trump supporter who was punched for wearing a Trump “Make American Great Again” hat.

He and a British immigrant Jewish man surrounded a teen boy in a Trump hat and asked him question after question, not letting him answer. The Jewish man said that he was against him because he wanted to kill all the Jews. The boy was in shock at that and denied it and said there was no reason to think just because he was for Trump he wanted to kill Jews. Again the police had to intervene to escort this boy out.

Later the streamer met with the Jewish man and they both talked about how scary it was talking to that boy.

I am sure most of the counter protesters were peaceful and sincerely were convinced the rally was a Nazi rally. But I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t a Nazi rally at all, not like what happened last week in Virginia. It was almost like the tens of thousands of counter-protesters were marching more against what happened in Charlottesville last week than what was actually happening in Boston.

The Boston police did not do what the Charlottesville did, and just let the two groups mix until they were fighting. They kept them away from each other and that was very good.

I don’t know what’s going on here. But I am convinced of this.

Hate is not how you defeat hate. Chasing a Trump supporter and screaming at him he’s a coward because the police are escorting him to where his group is and demanding that he let you fight him is not how you defeat hate. Accusing anyone attending a rally in a Trump hat of wanting to kill all the Jews and not accepting it when he denies that is not how you defeat hate.

I don’t like even having to speak the truth about what happened today in Boston because it sounds like I’m agreeing with Trump.

We’ve got to find a better way.


#20

I’m curious about that as well. There’s an iconoclastic professor in Canada whom I much respect (Jordan Peterson) who is continuously branded as being “on the far right” or even a Nazi, obviously by people who haven’t bothered to listen to what he has to say.

He keeps getting shut down at free speech lectures/events, too, and he certainly isn’t a Nazi. His whole point is that polarization creates instability which leads to radicalization which leads to totalitarianism, and that the only alternative is for people with different points of view to engage in dialog so as to avoid the kinds of authoritarian ideological movements that domianted the 20th century.

I’ve read about the Boston thing on 3 different websites and haven’t found anything talking about who the speakers were or what their message was. Does anyone know? Is there any evidence that they were actually white supremacists?

On the one hand, I’m glad to see strong reactions against the neo-nazis and fascists. On the other hand, I’m concerned that there are conservative people with legitimate concerns who aren’t fasicsts that are being branded as Nazis, which runs the risk of actually empowering fascists.

I just read this book on fascism (Anatomy of Fascism), written in 2004. The early fascist movements in both Italy and Germany were disturbingly similar to some of the militant alt-right activists we’re seeing now (the Proud Boys, for example). It’s not just the fierce nationalism and xenophobia. It’s the rejection of liberalism, globalization, scapegoating foreigners, fear of moral corruption and decadence, and (surprisngly, to me) a deep conviction that THEY are the victims, and that they’re fighting for the survival of their authentic, heroic culture.

The fascists became legitimized by directing their violence initially towards communists and the radical left, whom the conservative and even liberal political players viewed as the real threat.

The problem with these antifa people pepper spraying folks and beating up Trump supporters is that they are providing justification for far-right violence, which is now somewhat justifiably being framed as self-defense, and which is deepening the alt-right’s sense of victimization.

Luckily, it seems so far that despite widespread spite for antifa, the alt-right militants are being broadly rejected (except by Trump, which is not insignificant, though it seems like it might actually risk bringing him down). But that isn’t fucking thanks to cool guys pepper spraying people and beating up Trump supporters! All those idiots are doing is further polarizing people, which favours the fascists in the long run because they can then position themselves as the legitimate opponents of left-wing extremists (ie, Trump’s equivocation regarding Charlottesville).

I tried listening to an interview with the founder of the Proud Boys (he’s one of the founder of Vice News). He doesn’t think his group is fascist, because he’s an idiot, but they have different ‘levels’ of membership. In order to advance up those levels, you have to get into a street fight with leftist radicals. They’re fucking imitating the Freikorps and are apparently too stupid to realize it. That is literally how the actual Nazis got started, and that’s how they became influential.

Being anti-fascist is awesome. Most people are anti-fascist, OBVIOUSLY. But AntiFa activists seem more concerned with intensifying the political polarization, which alienates moderates, radicalizes conservatives, and validates the retaliatory-victim mentality of the far right militants.

Conservatives (and moderates) don’t like communists, and if they feel bullied by anarcho-communnists militants, like Italian farmers did in the 1920s, then they might be inclined to look favourably on the right-wing militants who show up to beat the shit out of the commies.

Like what happened in Berkeley.