No Violence Reported at Boston ‘Free Speech’ Rally Today

by Steve MacDonald

orwell-free-speech (1)How do you put a context on the appearance of large crowds of progressives who show up to counter-protest a rally in support of free speech?

Holding its rally at Boston Common, the group Boston Free Speech Coalition invited “libertarians, conservatives, traditionalists, classical liberal, Trump supporters or anyone else who enjoys their right to free speech.” …

CNN reports that the counter-protesters comprised of members of groups such as Organize Boston against Trump, Boston Democratic Socialists of America and Black Lives Matter. Although counter-protesters and supporters of President Donald Trump occasionally shouted at each other, police kept the two sides separate through a buffer zone, avoiding huge conflicts.

You could say that Black Lives Matter, Boston Democrat Socialists of America, and Organize Boston against Trump oppose free speech.

Why else were they there?

We might be right to suggest that they were there to exercise their constitutional right. To object to certain speech with their own speech. And I’m sure there were counter-protesters there who came for that reason. But I suspect that the organizers of the counter-protest were hoping to incite violence.

A second violent weekend under the umbrella of free speech could have a chilling effect on first amendment expression across the US.

Progressivism has trouble breathing when free speech is, well, free. If the courts won’t help, and they lack the legislative force to advance an agenda, as is the case now, violence is not just likely from progressives it is expected.

Socialists have never been against violence. In fact, if memory serves, violence is not just acceptable in pursuit of the socialist utopia, it is necessary.

Black Lives Matter has not been around long, but it already has a long history of violence and inciting violence.

But there was no violence today because the Boston Police did their job. They kept the violent thugs away from the free-speech rally. They maintained the peace. Which, as it turns out, is bad news for Democrats, progressives, the Boston Socialists, Black Lives Matters, Organize Boston, and the media.

They didn’t get the media spectacle required.

That only means that they will have to try harder next time.

And yes, there will be a next time.

And a time after that.

Which makes it that much more important for first amendment defenders to accept that the free speech they claim to cherish is at greater risk should they allow themselves to be inflamed by the people who hate it.

Initiating violence does not make your point. It makes theirs.

Leave a Comment

  • Bruce Currie

    Re: “…a rally in support of free speech.” Somehow that doesn’t quite sufficiently describe them or their intent. While it’s a fine and noble sentiment to say: “I disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend your right to say it” the fact that an organized mob feels emboldened to utter morally reprehensible and repugnant statements, based on long discredited racist and anti-Semitic notions, is sickening.

    • mer

      “…fact that an organized mob feels emboldened to utter morally
      reprehensible and repugnant statements, based on long discredited racist
      and anti-Semitic notions, is sickening….”

      So you’re saying it’s ok to physically assault someone for merely saying something? Or that they shouldn’t be allowed to say those things? Who gets to decide what is “permitted” speech?

      The fact that an organized mob feels emboldened, perhaps even entitled, to physically assault people based solely on what is being said is sickening, morally reprehensible and repugnant.

      Nazi, neo-Nazi, white supremicist, doesn’t matter. The “Punch a Nazi” game is assault.

      And the Boston PD may have something to say about the “peaceful” part (urine, rocks, etc).
      https://twitter.com/bostonpolice/status/898991076157136898?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Ftwitchy.com%2Fbrettt-3136%2F2017%2F08%2F19%2Fpolice-ask-many-fine-hardcore-folks-protesting-in-boston-to-stop-throwing-urine-rocks-at-officers%2F

      • Bruce Currie

        The First Amendment is not absolute. And Charlottesville was not an exercise in free speech. It was an effort at intimidation. There’s a long list of things that are not protected speech. They include: obscenity, fighting words, defamation, child pornography, perjury, plagiarism, blackmail, incitement to lawless action, soliciting for criminal acts, true threats, and treason. All have the potential to do harm to others. Hate speech of the kind on display from the collection of neo-Nazis, anti-semites, and white supremacists at Charlottesville caused harm by threatening the safety and well-being that society offers to the weak and vulnerable. Perhaps it’s time to consider adding hate speech to the category of speech that is not protected.

        • Bryan W

          All of those are penalties for the harm caused by using free speech to a nefarious end.

          The most common way this is said is “You can’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre.” Except that you can: what if there is a fire? What if that is the line in the play or movie being presented? No, the criminal act is based on the harm caused (or attempted) by yelling “fire” where there isn’t one or where there is no cause. There is a huge difference.

          The difference is that you want to stop people from speaking freely before they say things, and that’s called prior restraint. There is a long legal history of tyrannical people trying (and failing) to do this.

          Are you a tyrant now, Bruce?

          • Bruce Currie

            I think we’ve seen this movie before. When “speaking freely” consists essentially of an assertion of dominance via threats and intimidation against a particular ethnic group, then we’re no longer in the realm of “free speech”.

          • Bryan W

            Again, you wish to invoke prior restraint, which is in itself a threat of violence. Plus, your assertion lacks context and state-of-mind, which is at the heart of any free speech issue.

            The whole BLM movement is an “assertion of dominance via threats and intimidation,” in this case from a particular ethnic group and their fellow travelers. So they are not in the realm of free speech?

            If someone comes onto my property in a manner that tells me they are here to hurt my family, I will assert my dominance over my property in order to protect my family. Am I in the realm of free speech?

            You’re right – we have seen this movie. It’s called “1984.”

          • Bruce Currie

            No. Black Lives Matter is not a hate group. Their leaders have condemned violence, and their founders and leaders have uttered nothing comparable to the hate-filled rhetoric we’ve heard from white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups at Charlottesville and elsewhere. Thousands of people of all races have marched under the BLM banner during BLM marches. Branding the excesses of a few during one or more BLM demonstrations is exactly the same kind of thinking that led some idiot(s) to spray paint GOP headquarters in Concord.

          • granitegrok

            “Pigs in a blanket, fry like bacon” – if it looks like hate, smells like hate, screams hate – it’s hate.

  • roger

    Yep, the counter protesters outnumbered the free speech rally protesters 100:1 and almost no violence broke out.

    Read it again, a bunch of democrats showed up at an altright rallly and there was no violence.

    Seems to poke holes in the theory all Dems are socialist and therefore violent.

    • Radical Moderate

      No one has said that “all” Democrats are violent. What has been said is that the Democrats attract violent groups like Antifa, BLM, & Occupy wall Street and the MSM and Democratic leadership presents it as acceptable. Witness when President Trump attempted to call out violence on both sides.
      Likewise when anti-Establishment (Alt-Right) Conservatives gather and they attract violent groups like Neo-Nazi’s and White supremacists the entire Conservative movement gets not only broad brushed, but violently attacked and that is not only acceptable but encouraged.
      Your consistent attempt to change the narrative will fail in the end.
      Unfortunately, history is destined to repeat itself which will mean misery for all of us.

      • 175jfs

        Rally organizers were limited to 100 people. So why does the leftist counterprotestors get a free pass on numbers? Could it somebody wants to get reelected? Oh those pesky elections, again. Just like that pesky 1st Amendment.

      • Bruce Currie

        You’re painting with a broad brush here. BLM and Occupy are not in the same category as Antifa. And I’d argue Antifa only developed as a response to the proliferation of right-wing hate groups that has metasticized over the last several years. Neither BLM nor Occupy can fairly be considered a hate group, and whatever “violence” they’ve committed was done by a minority and limited to property damage. That’s in stark contrast to neo-Nazis and white supremacists, whose entire reason for being is based on hatred.

        • Radical Moderate

          “Neither BLM nor Occupy can fairly be considered a hate group, and whatever “violence” they’ve committed was done by a minority and limited to property damage.”
          Wrong Bruce…Wrong, wrong, wrong. You have such a convenient memory.
          FACT: BLM has called for the death of police officers which led to the wholesale assassination of police officers in the streets of America. They engaged in rioting which destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars in private and public property. If that’s not “hate”, I don’t know what is.
          FACT: Occupy Wall Street called for the imprisonment or death of Wall Street bankers and engaged in rioting which destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars in private and public property. If that’s not “hate” I don’t know what is.
          “That’s in stark contrast to neo-Nazis and white supremacists, whose entire reason for being is based on hatred.”
          – When, pray tell did neo-Nazis and White supremacists riot and destroy property on a similar “mass” scale like BLM or OWS? How about we look at the last the 10 years? When did it happen Bruce?
          If you’re going to refer to Charlottesville you need to realize that what the President said was true, though you would not guess it from the deliberate misrepresentation of the event by the MSM, the majority of protesters in the Alt-Right were not Neo-Nazi’s or White supremacists but ordinary non-violent Conservatives of many stripes attempting to engage in redress of grievances acting under the protection of a court order. You can try and take the MSM narrative and run with it but it will fail in the end. As we converse today the DOJ is at work investigating the entire event, money trails and all. The truth will be revealed and I tell you now this will not work out the way you envision it.
          Look, regardless of what you or I may think about the legitimacy of those grievances they had a right to be there and that “right” must be protected.
          You’re not a stupid person Bruce, you know whats going to happen if you continue going down this road painting with your broad brush. You will end up causing all those non-violent Conservatives to become radicalized if they have no outlet to vent their anger. Once again, I’m not talking about the 10% Neo-Nazi’s and White supremacists thrown into the mix. That’s 62,979,879 Trump voters that are fed up at the Establishment Republicans and Progressive Democrats that the MSM and you are painting with the same brush. That’s a heck of a lot of angry disenfranchised people if they ever decided to flood into the streets because they are unable to VERBALLY redress their grievances. I have seen this before in other countries. The pattern is the same, and it will not end well for any of us.
          Though I am not a Democrat now I come from a family of blue collar democrats who all proudly voted for a brilliant young man for President. He may have been young, but he was very wise for his age.
          “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” – John F. Kennedy
          I do not want to see that Bruce.
          How about you?

        • Radical Moderate

          “Neither BLM nor Occupy can fairly be considered a hate group, and whatever “violence” they’ve committed was done by a minority and limited to property damage.”
          Wrong Bruce…Wrong, wrong, wrong. You have such a convenient memory.
          FACT: BLM has called for the death of police officers which led to the wholesale assassination of police officers in the streets of America. They engaged in rioting which destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars in private and public property. If that’s not “hate”, I don’t know what is.
          FACT: Occupy Wall Street called for the imprisonment or death of Wall Street bankers and engaged in rioting which destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars in private and public property. If that’s not “hate” I don’t know what is.
          “That’s in stark contrast to neo-Nazis and white supremacists, whose entire reason for being is based on hatred.”
          – When, pray tell did neo-Nazis and White supremacists riot and destroy property on a similar “mass” scale like BLM or OWS? How about we look at the last the 10 years? When did it happen Bruce?
          If you’re going to refer to Charlottesville you need to realize that what the President said was true, though you would not guess it from the deliberate misrepresentation of the event by the MSM, the majority of protesters in the Alt-Right were not Neo-Nazi’s or White supremacists but ordinary non-violent Conservatives of many stripes attempting to engage in redress of grievances acting under the protection of a court order. You can try and take the MSM narrative and run with it but it will fail in the end. As we converse today the DOJ is at work investigating the entire event, money trails and all. The truth will be revealed and I tell you now this will not work out the way you envision it.
          Look, regardless of what you or I may think about the legitimacy of those grievances they had a right to be there and that “right” must be protected.
          You’re not a stupid person Bruce, you know whats going to happen if you continue going down this road painting with your broad brush. You will end up causing all those non-violent Conservatives to become radicalized if they have no outlet to vent their anger. Once again, I’m not talking about the 10% Neo-Nazi’s and White supremacists thrown into the mix. That’s 62,979,879 Trump voters that are fed up at the Establishment Republicans and Progressive Democrats that the MSM and you are painting with the same brush. That’s a heck of a lot of angry disenfranchised people if they ever decided to flood into the streets because they are unable to VERBALLY redress their grievances. I have seen this before in other countries. The pattern is the same, and it will not end well for any of us.
          Though I am not a Democrat now I come from a family of blue collar democrats who all proudly voted for a brilliant young man for President. He may have been young, but he was very wise for his age.
          “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” – John F. Kennedy
          I do not want to see that Bruce.
          How about you?

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