Boston’s mayor has beaten the “cowardly” masked members of the white supremacist Patriot Front after a surprise march on Saturday along the city’s legendary “Freedom Trail” of sites that played a historic role in America’s independence.
At least one skirmish broke out when members of the crowd apparently attacked a defiant Black bystander, the Boston Herald reported.
Police only learned of the incident after the afternoon when the crowd gathered in downtown, the Boston NBC-affiliated Channel 10 reported.
About 100 members wearing the beige khaki pants and blue shirt uniforms of Patriot Front unloaded shields and flags from a rented truck in Haymarket Square, the Herald and CBS Boston reported. Some of the flags were American, at least one was an upside-down American flag, and others apparently had a fascist symbol, according to the newspaper.
The marchers wore white bandanas covering their faces and sunglasses, which obscured their identity, and beige baseball caps. They apparently handed out pamphlets at the city’s Public Library in which they announced themselves as members of the Patriot Front.
Mayor Michelle Wu responded on Twitter: “To the white supremacy that ran through the city center today: When we march, we do not hide our faces. Your hatred is as cowardly as it is disgusting, and it goes against everything Boston stands for. ”
She later told CBS that the “disgusting, hateful actions and words of white supremacist groups are not welcome in this city. “Especially in a moment when so many of our rights are being attacked, we will not normalize intimidation by adults.”
On a 4th of July holiday weekend when “we remember Boston’s legacy as the cradle of freedom, we celebrate the ongoing struggle to expand those freedoms for all and ensure that Boston will be a city for all,” she added. .
“I am outraged and disgusted by the white supremacist group protesting in Boston today,” City Council President Ed Flynn tweeted.
“Dis critical to evoke hatred and intimidation when we see iteducate children about past horrors and stand with the Jewish community, our immigrant neighbors and communities of color. ”
Last month, 31 members of the Patriot Front, packed in a U-Haul rental truck with face shields and armored jackets, were caught by the Coeur D’Alene police in Idaho, where they were on their way to “riot” at ‘ A Pride event in the city center, according to officials. Among them was the group’s neo-Nazi founder, 23-year-old Thomas Ryan Rousseau of Texas, who formed the group after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
The gang’s attack on the Pride event was carefully planned and stimulated by the Republican Party’s growing animus towards the LGBTQ community.
The Anti-Defamation League calls the Patriot Front one of the country’s most visible and vicious white supremacist groups, known for launching “flash demonstrations” in various communities.