Boston "Free Speech" Rally Tomorrow Billed as "White Supremacists" by Antifa, Even as Speech Organizers Condemn Racism
A group of mostly libertarians and conservatives which has denounced bigotry and racism are being described as "white supremacists" by counter-protesters on the day before a Boston rally. The rally is hosted by "Boston Free Speech." CNN reports that one of the rally's organizers told CNN affiliate WCVB that:
"his group is libertarian and opposes bigotry and the Ku Klux Klan."
Boston Free Speech says at its Facebook:
"We are a coalition of libertarians, progressives, conservatives, and independents and we welcome all individuals and organizations from any political affiliations that are willing to peaceably engage in open dialogue about the threats to, and importance of, free speech and civil liberties"
The counter-protesters' Facebook page reads:
"On Saturday, August 19th, White Nationalists are converging on Boston Common to reinforce their white supremacist ideology and attempt to intimidate queer and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, POC) communities."
The most controversial of the speakers, Augustus Invictus, reports that he has been dis-invited. The Anti-Defamation League writes that Invictus (born Austin Mitchell Gillespie) was the:
"Sergeant at Arms for the Florida American Guard, a group led by Brien James, one of the founders of the Vinlander Social Club (VSC), a hardcore, frequently violent racist skinhead gang."
The counter-protester organizers, which calls the counter-action Fight Supremacy say in a Q&A on their Facebook:
"Q: Are the organizers of this event committed to non-violence?
A: The organizers of this event are committed to community safety, survival, and protecting marginalized communities."
The counter-protesters commonly call themselves "anti-fascists." In the media counter-protesters to similar events have been referred to as "Antifa."
The Anti-Defamation League has declined to describe the event as a White supremacist rally, saying at its blog:
"Unlike Charlottesville, the Boston event, as currently planned, is not a white supremacist gathering."
The blog then goes on to describe a new category of political opinion, "alt-lite" versus "alt-right," which "traffics in conspiracy theories." The ADL takes to task one of the Boston Free Speech speakers, Joe Biggs, for being a "promulgators" of the:
“Pizza-gate” conspiracy theory, which imagined a child sex trafficking ring out of the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizzeria."
Pizza-gate is the term for a scandal which arose out of the leaked emails of former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.
Requests for comment from the "Fight Supremacy" social media page organizers have not been returned.