There were quite a few people who came out winners from the events of Boston Common.  Today we’re going to list those who earned honorable (or dishonorable) mentions and the 1st and 2nd runners-up in that pageant:

Honorable (or Dishonorable) Mentions

Mayor Marty Walsh:  He was able to play up his credentials not only as an opponent of the President, and a denouncer of hate,  but his decision to deploy rather than stand down police allowed him to project an image of law and order without damage to his liberal credentials and, despite a few exceptions, the success of the Police in maintaining overall safety for people in the crowd (if you weren’t wearing an Israeli Flag, a Trump Banner or was a policeman) earned him national praise that might come in handy if he wants to progress to a senate seat or the governor’s chair.

Left wing fringe groups:  The various activist groups from ANSWER to the Socialist Workers et/al had a great day on Boston common.  Not only were they able to get the media and mayor to uncritically accept their premise that the speakers like Shiva Ayyadurai were Nazis and Klansmen, not only where they able to keep anyone from hearing what they actually said, they were able, because of the size of the crowd who arrived to oppose the unseen Nazis and Klan members, to give the impression of a much larger base of support than they actual have for their fringe political positions.

The News Media:  Their willingness to run with and sell the left whole “Nazi/White Supremacist Hoard descending on Boston” meme meant they were given a spectacle which provided them with days of copy and tons of coverage to attract eyeballs and thus advertisers. Even better for the media their success in selling the meme gives them a chance to deploy it any time a tea party group gets a permit from any city in Massachusetts.

2nd Runner up:  The Boston Police

The Boston Police was both a short term and a long term winners of events on the common. Despite Jeff Jacoby’s correct assessment concerning actual free speech, their highly visible presence at the event, their ability to prevent fatalities or serious injury combined with their willingness to be the primary target of the ANTIFA thugs violence, not only achieved their primary goal of avoiding a blood bath or serious riot, but rightly raised their stature both locally and nationally as a peace force.  Regular people, with nothing to do with professional activism, who turned up to oppose “nazis” were thanking police for keeping them safe and rightly so.

Sure there were State Police and Transit Police there as well but the City’s police force was the most visible and got the lions share of the attention and credit.

1st Runner up:  ANTIFA

I’m sorry to say ANTIFA was the 2nd biggest winner of the events on Boston Common for many reasons:

They were able to show numbers. The total amount of masked thugs was considerable which meant a pretty good show of muscle.

They were accepted and cheered by the crowd despite (or perhaps because of) their violent history against any who they consider their political opponents.

Because of the size of the crowd, the need for police to protect certain areas and people and the media’s disinterest they were able to get away with isolated acts of violence with impunity .

Although there were a small amount of folks arrested, you actually had incredible sight online of police asking ANTIFA thugs to “to refrain from throwing urine, bottles and other harmful projectiles at our officers.” as they ignored said request while berating and assaulting officers.  Perhaps next time they’ll be able to get the police to say “please”.

Like any group of actual fascists their real power is to intimidate far beyond their actual numbers.  Boston Common put that intimidation factor on display to those they wanted to keep in check.  I’m not just talking about City Mayors not wanting to blow their budgets on police details denying permits or venues and groups choosing to avoid public event due to fear of liability cost or physical violence.  I’m not even talking about the tiny group of speakers who would have been dwarfed even if the 100’s of ANTIFA folk never showed their face.

I’m talking about the successful display of physical power to their political allies on the left.  They were the real target.  Thanks to events on the common where ANTIFA was willing to take on police and show some muscle against their foes out of police sight, reporters who might consider a critical story, activists who might consider giving the other side a chance to speak and even regular people, particularly those not enamored with the 2nd amendment who might decide they agree with the President or the Tea Party on an issue or two will think twice before doing so thanks to the fear (rational or not) that their actions will prompt a visit from the folks wearing masks.

Finally all of this will attract the young stupid recruits that are the bread and meat for such Fascists, particularly from those who are rejected (didn’t the crowd show them support?) or fearful (Wouldn’t it be great to have a bunch of strong friends having your back?) or thuggish (didn’t they stand up to police even with the whole country watching?).  Boston was ANTIFA’s recruitment video for useful idiots and there are plenty of directionless and foolish teens and twenty somethings who will see it and come running.

As for the big winner from events in Boston, that’s tomorrow lead post.

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Saruman:  Victory at Helm’s deep does not belong to you, Théoden Horse Master, you are a lesser son of greater sires.

The Lord of the Rings:  Return of the King (extended version) 2003

Christie:  What’s the quietest Island in the area
Virgil:  I’d say Kemo
Gruber: Yep Kimo, Quiet like a library.
Christie: Well When we land on that quiet little Island what do you think happens?
Ensign Parker: I dunno?
Christie: Binghamtom run smack into a Japanese Scout, he engages him in combat. He saves our whole crew and we send him back to the Officers club a hero!

McHale’s Navy, The Captain’s Mission 1963

I’ve been thinking about what what the results of events this weekend on the Boston Common will be.  There will be significant consequences politically both locally and nationally (although not in the way some might think) But there is one perspective that I want to address because it is independent of the various political agendas out there.

As I mentioned in my post Sunday.  Saturday’s events drew a large amount people who while non-activists have spent their lifetime in the media/academic bubble of liberalism.  I suspect for such people, attending this event was something of critical importance to their self image.

For their entire lives they have heard the stories of those who had come before them.  Their grandfathers and great grandfathers who had fought in World War two,  risking their lives to check the advance of a murderous fascism on the world.  They saw their stories lionized in history and media for (oddly enough the story of those same folks stopping the advance of murderous Communism in Korea thus securing the ability of South Koreans to live modern lives didn’t make the lionization cut). Their parents or grandparents lived in the civil rights era where people actually risked life and limb to secure basic civil rights for those oppressed by Jim Crow also celebrated in media and academia.

Furthermore in that same media bubble they have been told for over a decade that the Gay Marriage debate is not a matter of debate (at least not since Obama’s 2012 election year epiphany) and the Transgender debates that followed were yet another chapter in the civil rights.

They have been assured of all of these things, and have looked at their comfortable lives with the latest phones, and gadgets, entertainment streamed to their homes on demand, attending universities where the going rate for their education is larger than the per capital income of most of the countries of the world an what they spend on cable and Starbucks annually alone is more that the per capita income in different 30 countries.

Yet what had they done or sacrificed or risked to get these things?  What had they done to be worthy of those who came before them?

For such people the events on the Boston Common were a godsend.

For the cost of a train ticket, parking and making a sign they could be seen and counted as standing up to one of the great historical evils at risk to themselves.  Instead of fighting computer generated Nazis online, you would be putting yourself out there for the cause of right and justice and be celebrated for it by the media, by your fellows, and online for doing so.

Yeah I know things weren’t as iffy as they might have been led to believe

Sure the mayor of Boston made sure the police would be there in force keeping deadly weapons out of people’s hands and mitigating the actual risk to nearly zero

Sure the number of people who in the crowd on your side outnumbered those you were counter protesting by a factor of anywhere from 100-1000.

Sure despite the assurances of the media and activists that you were opposing Nazi and the Klan the presence of Nazis and Klansman on the Boston common was more theoretical that actual

Sure the nasty looking guys in black wearing mask were on your side and only a danger to Police or people who dared walk though the Boston Common wearing Trump banners or Israeli Flags.

and I’m sure some who were there seeing facts (which they in fairness had no control over anyway) beyond their bubble world and laugh at their worries.  But a lot of others will go home,  post selfies on instagram and point out the news coverage to family talking about being there in Boston confronting the Nazis.

And in the weeks and months to come in that bubble world they inhabit they’ll, around a beer on the college common, or at their local Starbucks or over a glass of wine at a party or cookout talk about that fateful day on the common to their fellow bubble dwellers sounding something like this:

Captain Binghamton: Oh I tell you it was rough gentlemen rough I don’t care what actions you’ve seen unless you were at Kimo.

To them it will be simple truth because no matter what actually happened on the common that day, they had gone to Boston to prove they they were just as willing to put themselves on the line as those people who came before them and the feeling they made a difference was real and authentic.

That was the emotional victory they had fought for and those who share and depend on that bubble world will celebrate that victory with them for as long as they can keep that bubble intact.



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Saturday Morning ,much to the concern of DaWife and some of my friends I got in the car and headed to Boston to cover the protests/counter protests going on in Boston post Charlottesville.

I left early enough that the traffic was fairly light and getting to Alewife station went directly to the 4th level to park. It was fairly empty at the time I got there before 10 AM.

When I got on the Subway train I found my surrounded by large groups of people carrying signs, some homemade some not. They varied from hit Nazis to attacking the “alt right” to the standard “love Trumps Hate” and “Black Lives Matter” I quietly sat and listened. It was my impression that the folks
who had come to Boston from out of town were mostly people who wanted to “make a difference”. Their grandparents had fought in World War 2 and they saw themselves as doing what they did. This was a theme I got a lot from a certain segment of the crowd once I got to Boston, a feeling that they were emulating the “greatest generation” by going to Boston to stand up to the Nazis, Fascists and Klansmen That meme was common among the people I ran into on the train and in the crowd once I got there and my primary goal in going to the event was to not only report on what I saw, but to find out if their assessment was true.

There were a fair amount of masked folks in the crowd, some wearing green who were organizing things (they seemed distinct from the ANTIFA folk who I saw later) I asked one young lady why she was wearing a mask and she replied that it was to keep her from being doxxed which seemed to be the standard line, which frankly didn’t seem all that credible to me.

At the time I got there the crowd was comparatively large but not massive as it would later become there was a large crowd by the Statehouse, that was the Marty Walsh event and various groups to the far side where the free speech rally was supposed to be. It was at this time I saw a familiar group go by.

As I continued to head deeper into the common I saw a group of folks sitting down on a bench who consented to an interview

I found the remarks about people losing their jobs ironic after the doxxing stuff the masked lady had said, but from there continued on. At this point I spotted a group of State Police and spoke to one about them.

He said they would do their best to protect everyone’s first amendment rights (and from what I saw there was a large enough police presence to do so. I asked him about the masked ANTIFA folks, he mentioned that they were a worry but as there was no law against wearing a mask on the common all they could do is keep an eye on them.

I walked all the way to the far end where the pond was and then doubled back to get to the gazebo. All this time the crowd continues to grow as more and more folks showed up as the weather continue to get better but hotter.
When I got to the Gazebo area I found the entire section was cordoned off. Only people specifically on a list were invited in and that included the press

This was a large blow to my plans as the primary thing I wanted to do is record the speeches and see what they were saying to answer the question: Were these guys actual Nazis, White supremacists et/al or were they just conservatives that because they supported Trump were considered all of these things?

Of course to the crowd none of this mattered. It was a matter of faith that these guys were Nazis but it seemed to me also a matter of faith that President Trump was also a Nazi/White Supremacist as was anyone who supported him and this was evident by some of the chants

The attendees were very good at the whole repetitive chanting thing which requires very little thought.

the attendees were very good at repetitive chanting

I tried to find some other angles to get a better view of the bandstand but there was no place where I could get close enough and the fence lining it was filling up

All of it seemed like overkill to me but the crowd seemed rather enjoying themselves as I walked through them.

The crowd itself consisted of the following groups:

Group one:   The well meaning folks standing up as I mentioned at the start (worth interviewing)
Group two:   The college kids finding something cool to do while establishing their liberal credentials (worth interviewing)

I’d say those two groups at least at the time I was there was a solid 1/3 or more of the crowd

Group three: The mayors folks also establishing both their anti-trump and liberal cred (spinning pols no interest to me)
Group four: The various activist groups there to push their specific causes (again professional protesters spinners mostly not worth my time)
This was I’d guess about half the crowd or slightly less. When you report they are very noticeable and you could see the polish in how they carried themselves and their organization.

Group five:  The freaky guys like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (drag queens dressed as nuns) and Vermin Supreme (folks looking for attention but not getting it from me)
And Group six:  ANTIFA violent thugs who I had no intention of associating with.

Despite how different they were all of them were all united in two propositions:

Donald Trump is a bad evil racist.

If you voted for Trump you are as are as bad or worse than he is.

The effects of that unifying idea was interesting,  particularly interesting how well the Masked Antifa crowd was being received by said crowd

That really shocked me I figured either they had no idea the type of people ANTIFA was (groups 1 & 2) , pretended they didn’t (group 3) or didn’t care (groups 4 & 5).

It was around this time that everyone got an education concerning them from an event that was to me, the defining event of the time I was there.

I noticed people swarming and went to check it out and was disgusted by what I saw

Two men one wearing a Trump, Make America Great Again and another wearing an Israeli flag being greeted by cries of “fascist go home” and quickly surrounded. At least of the organizers recognizing that the potential of something that would shatter the image they wanted portrayed to the press and to some of the more innocent people there who had no idea what company they were keeping so one of the folks who had been coaching some of the masked folks on one side and two members of the highly radical “veterans for peace” did their best to make sure nobody threw a punch but it didn’t stop people from getting in their faces and surrounding them.

I was completely beside myself over this first of all Donald Trump won the majority of voters in 29 states. If a man can’t safely walk through Boston Common with that banner no matter who is there that’s an incredible escalation as it the dubbing of any person supporting Trump a fascist or a Nazi.

But what set me off even more was the vitriol against they guy wearing the Israeli flag and the crowd joining in on the chants against him. The irony of people carrying anti-nazi signs and lowly proclaiming their opposition to hate driving out a person wearing the Star of David flag seems to have been completely lost on the people there and frankly I was outraged.

What was even more amazing were those calling em cowards those two guys were the bravest people there and I found myself wishing that I had a Trump banner or an Israeli flag and was standing with them.

To me this was a turning point, it is a moment that in my opinion will get replayed over and over in states that Trump carried and I can’t think of anything else that would infuriate and energize Trump supporters more.

On the bright side there were some signs of sanity and plurality in the crowd this one stood out.

But then again one would expect Quakers to be expressing this kind of thing.

By this time it was getting clear that unless I was willing and able to stay very late there wasn’t going to be much big news and I noticed people starting to leave so I started to leave but found some interesting sights like the Panda crowd that I saw earlier

That the people signing were basically saying “take away my freedom” never seemed to occur to them.

There was Gary who had an interesting quest

Four nice folks from Plymouth who seemed to have experience in this sort of thing without being professional activists

A catholic poet and musician who bought my book

and my favorite person Gary who while not liking the right had my favorite sign of the day as embraced his opinions while defending the 1st Amendment

Finally a large crowd came by marching and I filmed them for five minutes

then a few minutes more

which couldn’t help but make me think of the famous scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian where the crowd chants in unison “yes we’re all individuals, we’ve all got to work it out for ourselves”

Finally it was time to leave and I headed for a T station as Park Station was closed. Because of this I missed some violence that took place later (conveniently after the regular people who might have objected had already left) but ran into the nice young ladies that I’ve already mentioned.

As for the object of these protests they became an afterthought but the real irony is, if there had been no protest they would have gotten even less attention but most of the people there seemed happy at what they felt they achieved and proud of their actions. What did they achieve? Well that’s an analysis post for later this week.

We’ll finish with a few assorted images and clips

And My photo gallery follows my tipjar pitch


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