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 Boston Rally Exposed the Left’s Intolerance of Free Speech
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The Boston Rally Exposed the Left’s Intolerance of Free Speech:

By Andrew Sullivan


Here’s a question: At last Saturday’s massive rally against “hate” in Boston, what were 30,000 or so people actually protesting? The event in question was not organized by a neo-Nazi group, the KKK, or any other recognized hate group, but by an outfit called the Boston Free Speech Coalition. Its Facebook page claims they are “a coalition of libertarians, progressives, conservatives, and independents” aiming to “peaceably engage in open dialogue about the threats to, and importance of, free speech and civil liberties.” In the days before, the organizer, 23-year-old John Medlar, had insisted that “contrary to a lot of the rumors out there, the purpose of the rally is to denounce the kind of political violence that we have seen, a sort of rising tide throughout the country and particularly most recently in Charlottesville.” He said his group is small and young. At 23, he says he is the oldest.

If you want to check him out some more, here’s an interview he gave to the radio station WGBH: “I describe myself as a Libertarian, so I’m very much a small government guy. I think that it’s … I’ve also had a very Catholic upbringing, so my parents raised me to put a very strongly … emphasis on personal responsibility and virtues. And I think that you can’t have virtue when, you know, the government is compelling you to do things. I think society is better off when individuals take it upon themselves to build themselves up and to be the best possible people that they can be rather than, you know, that and shirking those responsibilities and leaving it to government bureaucrats who are less efficient at everything.” Not exactly elegant, but you get the drift.

And if you were ever a young libertarian and conservative (that would be me), you’d recognize these people pretty quickly. Young, over-their-heads, self-described free-speech “absolutionists,” [sic] they’ve read a little too much Ayn Rand, and tend toward easy, abstract extremism and a lot of naïvete. And so it doesn’t completely surprise me that their original speaker list did indeed include far-rightists, eager to use their platform: anti-feminist flame-thrower Gavin McInnes; Augustus Invictus, a young eugenicist with a fascist haircut who has apparently engaged in goat sacrifice; Joe Biggs, an Infowars nut behind “Pizzagate”; and one genuine New Zealand white nationalist, Kyle Chapman. But the group had always insisted they were open to far-leftists as well, and openly invited anyone to speak.






One who signed up was Rinaldo Del Gallo, a Bernie Sanders supporter, who is a candidate for the Massachusetts State Senate, and favors, among other things, single-payer health care, GMO labeling, and free college tuition. In the end, he didn’t speak. The police told him he was not on their speaker list and when he demanded to be allowed in, antifa activists surrounded him menacingly, yelling “White trash!” “I thought I was going to be lynched,” he told the Boston Herald. Another, Samson Racioppi, a young congressional candidate, wanted to use the occasion to denounce hate, neo-Nazis, the KKK, et al. He didn’t make it to the podium either because the crowd was too large to get through, he said.



Someone who actually spoke was Deaconess Anne Armstrong of the “Healing Church,” a cannabis-centered religious group which recently petitioned to conduct a service in a chapel at Washington’s Catholic Basilica, as long as it had comfy chairs. (She was seen blowing weed smoke out of a shofar before the event.) Another speaker was an Indian immigrant, Shiva Ayyadurai, who is a Republican candidate running against Elizabeth Warren, and who claims to have invented email. In one photo of his speech, he was surrounded by posters saying “Black Lives DO Matter,” and railing against Monsanto. He says he wants to unite all races against the Establishment.

What about the handful of their supporters? The Daily Beast reported that they were “mostly young men from Massachusetts, in their teens and early 20s, as well as several young men of color, and a few women.” The one thing, it seems, that most of them agreed on was drug legalization. Somehow, I’m not surprised.

What did they say? We still don’t know, and may never know. And that’s what bugs me. The reason is that Boston’s mayor and police department actually banned reporters and members of the public from being close enough to the rally to hear it (and the group couldn’t even afford a sound system). The reason was safety, but it’s hard to believe that a few reporters — let’s say, just one — couldn’t have been allowed close enough to hear the speeches and let us know what was in them. If an event is in a public space, and is advertised as a “free speech” rally, doesn’t the press have a right to access? In an interview, the mayor, Marty Walsh, shrugged: “Why give attention to people spewing hate?” In another: “You can have your free speech all day long, but let’s not speak about hate, bigotry, and racism.” The Boston police commissioner was more explicit: “I’m not going to listen to people who come in here and want to talk about hate. And you know what? If [reporters and others] didn’t get in, that’s a good thing because their message isn’t what we want to hear.” As it was, the scheduled two-hour event lasted less than 50 minutes, none of the far-rightists spoke, and the few speakers were rushed out in vans for their safety.

Who cares who they were, if the point was to denounce the hatred displayed in Charlottesville? Well, I do. I find it creepy that a crowd of 30,000, a city government, and a police force effectively shut down an event that was designed to defend free speech! I find it even creepier that masked members of the violent antifa group, who openly despise free speech, mixed openly and easily with the crowd and delighted in disrupting the event, while hurling rocks and bottles of urine at the police.

Mercifully, a few others have weighed in. WBUR reporter Bruce Gellerman recalled Frederick Douglass’s “Plea for Free Speech,” where Douglass took on Boston’s mayor and police department for suppressing an abolitionist rally. There is a right to speak, Douglass said, but “equally clear is the right to hear.” Veteran free-speech advocate Harvey Silverglate also wrote a stirring piece: “Boston shortchanged itself and the nation last weekend when, in effect, it gamed the First Amendment.”





As Boston, an allegedly liberal city, undoubtedly did. It seems to me that the acid test of whether a “free speech” rally is just a cover for white supremacists is whether it truly upholds free speech (which means inviting a spectrum of opinion, including the far right and the far left), whether it invites people of many races, whether it denounces violence, and whether it invites dialogue and engagement. This one did all of the above — and the organizers were deemed Nazis for it.

This is what happens when a society is at war with itself. Nothing matters but which side you’re on. And for a week, the Boston free-speech activists were on the “wrong” side and suffered the consequences. They do, I suppose, have one consolation. If their intent was to prove how parts of the left and Boston’s mayor and police department now oppose freedom of speech if they disagree with it, well, they succeeded beyond their wildest imagination.


http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/the-boston-rally-and-the-lefts-intolerance-of-free-speech.html

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Post 08/26/17 09:17pm
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AWM
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Good article and it does well in pointing out the Saul Alinsky tactics for what they are - true fascism, actually

Regular folks like you and I could sit down with a beer and disagree on everything in the world without being nasty, but the fucksticks on both sides are the only ones getting the print.

Colleges are the worst.

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Post 08/26/17 11:12pm
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BigW
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quote:
Originally posted by AWM
Good article and it does well in pointing out the Saul Alinsky tactics for what they are - true fascism, actually

Regular folks like you and I could sit down with a beer and disagree on everything in the world without being nasty, but the fucksticks on both sides are the only ones getting the print.

Colleges are the worst.


Colleges are the worst.Hang on to your hat Ruggles,cause you're not gonna believe this,but Bill Maher agrees with us.He talked about the same subject on his HBO show last Friday.Said they disinvited him,before reinviting him.

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Post 08/27/17 11:07am
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quote:
Originally posted by BigW
Colleges are the worst.Hang on to your hat Ruggles,cause you're not gonna believe this,but Bill Maher agrees with us.He talked about the same subject on his HBO show last Friday.Said they disinvited him,before reinviting him.


Have your thoughts regarding the Antifags changed any since Berkley? I see Homeland Security is being quoted as calling them a domestic terrorist organization, and the Dems are starting to call them out. They bring out a visceral response from me, and I have truly contemplated going to a protest just to knock some teeth out.

Now, equal time - I'd do the same to a White Supremacist, they're just not around. Their numbers are GREATLY exaggerated.

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Post 09/02/17 07:53am
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BigW
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quote:
Originally posted by AWM
Have your thoughts regarding the Antifags changed any since Berkley? I see Homeland Security is being quoted as calling them a domestic terrorist organization, and the Dems are starting to call them out. They bring out a visceral response from me, and I have truly contemplated going to a protest just to knock some teeth out.

Now, equal time - I'd do the same to a White Supremacist, they're just not around. Their numbers are GREATLY exaggerated.


Nope,my thoughts are the same.They are a violent group and I will not condone their actions,except when they fight against the Nazi's and KKK as in Charlottesville .I do not nor ever will agree with the way they treat individuals trying to express their right to speak.David Duke has the right to speak,but if Duke shows up with the Klan and Nazi's at his side he can expect a good ass whoopin'.Like I said earlier,we go after the Nazi's and KKK then get rid of the Antifags.Remember,they are bad,but Nazi's and KKK are pure evil.If you want to kick their teeth out please kick a few in the balls for me.They are assholes.

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Post 09/02/17 06:36pm
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Don't confuse the Rational Left with Antifa. There are plenty of us here in the Boston area who not only will permit speech we disagree with, we defend anyone's right to speak freely.

Antifa scares the hell out of me--they are against the whole First Amendment.

The thing I'd like to see is Nazis vs Antifa in a gun battle.

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Post 09/02/17 08:26pm
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quote:
Originally posted by Wolfbitch
Don't confuse the Rational Left with Antifa. There are plenty of us here in the Boston area who not only will permit speech we disagree with, we defend anyone's right to speak freely.

Antifa scares the hell out of me--they are against the whole First Amendment.

The thing I'd like to see is Nazis vs Antifa in a gun battle.


That's pretty much how I figured you both thought. Antifags are just as evil as Nazis (the current version, not the German version) I say use Sarin gas on both groups, and throw islamists in there with them. grin.gif

As for the Rational Left - I think they're trying like hell to distance themselves, and they should. But please don't sell that nigger Maxine Waters as the rational left, and we'll have no argument. Also, if Warren wants any shot at 2020, she better get her ass in line and condemn these people. So far, not a word.

Americans have a reaction to Nazis, antifags, white supremacists, and BLM and those who fail to condemn those groups suffer terribly come election time.

BW, I'd happily take another assault charge for kicking the teeth of an antifag or Nazi in; I'm an equal opportunity batterer. cool.gif

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Post 09/03/17 06:56am
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BigW
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"BW, I'd happily take another assault charge for kicking the teeth of an antifag or Nazi in; I'm an equal opportunity batterer."


You know Rugs,I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. happy4.gif

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Post 09/03/17 11:02pm
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grin.gif
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Post 09/04/17 06:35am
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