Top leaders in Boston have condemned the actions of about 100 members of the white nationalist group Patriot Front who marched the city streets on Saturday. Many in the group wore face coverings while carrying shields and toting various flags during the march.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu called the group’s action “cowardly” in a tweet Saturday evening.
“To the white supremacists who ran through downtown today: When we march, we don’t hide our faces. Your hate is as cowardly as it is disgusting, and it goes against all that Boston stands for.”
Boston City Council President Ed Flynn said he was “outraged and disgusted” at the protest.
“I’m outraged and disgusted at the white supremacist group protesting today in #Boston. It’s critical to call out hate and intimidation when we see it, educate children on horrors of the past & stand w/the Jewish community, our immigrant neighbors & communities of color,” Flynn wrote in a tweet.
Flynn continued his outrage in a two-page letter that recalls 31 Patriot Front members getting arrested for allegedly conspiring to riot at a Pride event last month in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The city council president also brought up past news of “hate and bigotry: at Charlottesville in 2017, the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, or at a neo-Nazi rally earlier this year in Orlando.”
“It is incumbent upon all of us to acknowledge, call out, and disavow the growing extremism and creeping hate in our country wherever we see it,” Flynn concluded in his letter. “We must always stand with the Jewish community and our communities of color, educate our children about the horrors of the past so that history does not repeat itself, and make clear to all neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups that they are not welcome and will never represent our values.”
City council member at-large Ruthzee Louijeune called the protesters “cowards” and that there’s “no place for what they’re selling in our city.”
City council member Ricardo Arroyo tweeted there “no place in our society” for hate.
“This is disgusting. Hate groups have no place in our society. Boston is for everyone, recognizes the gift that is our diversity, and will never cower or capitulate to hate.”
Many of the several dozen protesters carried current American flags while some others carried the the flag representing the original 13 colonies, which is 13 stars in a circle, according to the Boston Herald. Others carried flags that represented the National Fascist Party of Benito Mussolini.
One of the group’s members who was not wearing a mask spoke through a bullhorn to some people looking on at the Boston Public Library.
“If you truly wish for safety, you will have it. But you can take nothing else with you,” the member said, according to The Herald. “Not your home, not your family, not your liberty. There you will be alone with your safety in a rotted world.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a statement saying Patriot Front has spread “propaganda” for three years now.
“Since 2019, Patriot Front has been responsible for the vast majority of white supremacist propaganda distributed in the United States,” stated the ADL, who along with the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled Patriot Front as white nationalist or white supremacist. “One of the United States’ most visible white supremacist groups, Patriot Front participates in localized ‘flash demonstrations’ across the nation.”
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