Boston ‘Free Speech’ Rally: Well, That Was Anticlimactic, Fortunately

From local news channel WCVB [warning: autoplay]:

One of the planned speakers for the “Free Speech Rally” has said the event “fell apart” and the crowd cheered as police were seen removing flags and other items from the bandstand at Boston Common.

The rally was met with overwhelming opposition as thousands of people gathered on the Common and another 10,000 or more marched to the area from Roxbury…

Several verbal confrontations were observed between counterprotesters and rally attendees as they tried to reach the bandstand. Some of the counterprotesters, who said it was their duty to support free speech, were seen helping the rally attendees through the dense crowd.

Eventually, however, the “Free Speech Rally” organizers seemed to give up.

“I didn’t realize how unplanned of an event it was going to be,” said Samson Racioppi, a candidate for congress who was on the list of speakers publicized by the rally organizers. “I really think it was supposed to be a good event by the organizers but it kinda fell apart.”…

A few dozen people had gathered on the bandstand for the controversial rally, but reporters observed them departing around 12:45 p.m. A few minutes later, police were seen taking down the flags and other items that the rally organizers had hung on the bandstand.

Police escorted the rally attendees out of the area, but some physical conflicts were observed and a phalanx of officers in riot gear emerged near Emerson College as a show of force to quell the crowd.

At the same time, the “Fight Supremacy” march began to reach the area with 10,000 or more participants who were led into downtown from Roxbury by organizers including Black Lives Matter and the Mass Community Action Network…

Video clips at the link.

Kudos to all the local organizers who did non-violence workshops this week. With any luck, Charlottesville will have been a turning point — just not the kind the murderous white supremacists intended.
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Friday Morning Open Thread: First Trumps Second

Following clashes over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va., the civil-rights group also will screen clients more closely for the potential of violence at their rallies, said Anthony Romero, who has been the ACLU’s executive director since 2001.

The ACLU’s Virginia branch defended the right of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other groups under the banner “Unite the Right” to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a Charlottesville park.

The revised policy marries the 97-year-old civil-rights group’s First Amendment work with the organization’s stance on firearms, which aligns with many municipalities and states that bar protesters from carrying weapons…

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Apart from the ongoing #Resistance, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up another exhausting week?
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Meanwhile, the Boston news stations are treating Saturday’s proposed Boston Common rally as they would a potentially dangerous weather event — which seems about right for a cascade of dirty snowflakes. Jersey barriers have been lifted into place, the Swan Boats and Frog Pond will be shut down, protestors on both sides will be kept well apart, and both food and clothing vendors are banned (no snacks for looky-loos, and no giant displays of offensive ‘memorabilia’). And kudos to the goog people doing ‘protest training’, and to WCBV/Ch5 for covering them:








It’s All Fun & Games, Until Somebody Loses Their Kid

It’s sad (no lie!) that the New England Cosplay Association had to cancel a long-scheduled public gathering because some nitwit college kid got a permit to let Nazi wannabes swarm Boston Common. But this is serious:

Y’know, I’d have trouble picking Insane Clown Posse songs out of a general metal sound-off, but if the Very Serious Pundits could get past their bourgeois prejudices, the classic Juggalo is exactly the type of disadvantaged, Appalachian-heritage ‘Working Class White’ that they slobber over so endlessly. And it would probably cause at least one cardiac incident if this were pointed out to a roomful of Media Village Idiots…








Thursday Morning Open Thread: Let Your Light Shine


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What’s on the agenda, as we gird ourselves for the new day?


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And, from the man responsible for the Crazification Factor…








Pragmatism and pre-negotiations

In comments to the post on pragmatic evolution of US health policy on Monday, The Question raised a point that I want to respond to:

on health care why do we always have to pre-negotiate with ourselves and have ourselves primed to accept half a loaf? I am so tired of being sensible when there is no gorram reward. If loudly shouting the most extreme thing we want gets us even half what the republicans have gotten out of it why the hell not??

I want to raise an empirical point and then a broader political/policy point that explains my thought process.

First, empirically, what has “shouting the most extreme thing” gotten Republicans?

It has gotten them power.

What have they done with it so far? In 2009, Democrats at this point had a smaller functional majority in the Senate and a slightly larger majority in the House than the Republicans have today. Democrats had passed and signed into law the stimulus, CHIP re-authorization, Lily Ledbetter, and the Dodd-Frank CARD ACT by now.  They were grinding their way through what would become the ACA.

What have the Republicans accomplished as of today? Read more