A group of Boston College students joined in a rally Saturday in Boston Common in protest of the “Rally for the Republic,” organized by the group Resist Marxism.
“Anytime Nazis and White Supremacists try to come to Boston, we show up,” said Monica Grant, organizer of the counter protest “Fight Supremacy 2.0” and founder of the organization Violence in Boston. “When they tried to show up in May, we showed up. When they tried to rally in August, we showed up. And they are trying to rally now so we showed up again.”
And Grant was right. Like the “Free Speech” rally held in August a week after the events in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday’s “Rally for the Republic” was overwhelmed by counter-protesters. Less than 100 rally-goers gathered in and around Bandstand, met by the more than 1,000 counter-protesters.
Josh Behrens, co-founder of the Democratic Socialists of America club at BC (WDSA), a Heights columnist, and MCAS ’18, helped organize a group to attend the march. He noted that one of the organization’s main goals “is to connect campus with the greater Boston activist community.”
“I was surprised by the rhetoric used by the white supremacy group, especially when one guy claimed we were the Nazis as a man holding a swastika flag stood right beside him,” said Caitlin Delaney, MCAS ’21.
Delaney came to the rally with friends from her “Race Gender Violence” class, a six-credit course offered only to freshman combining history and sociology. In addition to lectures and discussions, the class is broken up into labs, which pair students with local organizations in Boston.
Delaney’s lab partners with the organization Violence in Boston, one of the co-organizers of the day’s counter protest “Fight Supremacy 2.0,” along with the counter-protest in August.
“It was a great way to support part of the greater Boston community and stand up for what is right,” Delaney said.
As Mark Sahady, the rally’s organizer, began to speak, a man dressed in black cupped his hands to his mouth, tilted his chin to the sky, and screamed, “Wherever you go, whatever you do, we are many and you are few.” His words echoed throughout the crowd.
“A couple of people asked me, Why are you going down here, what are you fighting for?” Grant said. “I live in Roxbury, I don’t know what it’s like not to fight. My life depends on it. My children’s life depends on it.”
While the rally and protest went on with little violence, about 30 minutes after the rally ended, BC’s Democratic Socialists of America club received an email that Behrens called “sickening.”
The subject line read “Communists will hang from lampposts,” and it contained an obvious death threat coupled with a graphic and disturbing image.
“We are really rattled, but at the same time we recognize that if Nazis weren’t mad, we would be doing something wrong,” Behrens said. “The fact that they are getting angry at us means that we are pushing the right pressure points. As scary as it is, we need to continue standing together, because if we do, we can fight, and we can win.”
Featured Image by Isabel Fenoglio / Heights Staff