Nothing says you support the police like screaming obscenities about Joe Biden through the windows of cars stopped in traffic
A man who claims to support the police got about 30 people to join him outside the E-5 police station in West Roxbury, where for two hours this afternoon, they shared a relatively small space on the sidewalk with a similarly sized group of people who want to defund police, each side screaming and bellowing at the other and only occasionally trying but failing to punch out some opponents.
At one point during the festivities, "Back the Blue" rally organizer Tony Federico of Abington and several of his followers lustily bellowed "Fuck Joe Biden!"
One follower, armed with one of those blue-stripe flags, moved into Centre Street, where he screamed "Fuck Joe Biden!" into the windows of cars whose drivers had stopped only because it was rush hour and they had to wait their turn to get into the Holy Name rotary. Many of the windows were open because, aside from some humidity, it was a nice afternoon for rolling them down; at least until some guy started screaming into them.
He also had a blue-stripe flag, but had trouble keeping it up; good thing it wasn't a real flag, because that would be disrespectful:
That the two sides were crammed into the same small stretch of sidewalk marked a change in tactics by E-5 for protests at the rotary.
Last year, police tried to keep opposing sides on different sides of the rotary; this year, though, after Federico's group set up camp in front of the police station, police did nothing to stop his opponents from marching from their gathering spot outside Holy Name around the rotary and to the same sidewalk in front of the station, where they began chanting slogans such as "Patrick Rose, overtime, no money for BPD crime!" at Federico's group, which up to that point seemed content to just stand their waving the American and blue-stripe flags Federico had brought with him.
At one point early on, the beefy Federico was blocked by an equally beefy supporter of defunding police. Words were exchanged; there would be no meeting of the minds. Federico went to his white Tundra truck, which he had parked right on Centre in front of the station, and got out three bullhorns, He put two of them up to his blockers's ears and turned on their sirens full blast and then just stood there, pointing the sirens at the guy.
In addition to battery-powered sirens, Federico also had a large speaker, which was pumping out what sounded like Stevie Wonder, until police told him that was going too far and made him stow it away:
Still, despite all the screaming and taunting and sirens, the party didn't really get started until newly failed at-large City Council candidate Donnie Palmer pulled up on his Harley and started taunting the supporters of police defunding while waiving a blue-stripe flag on a wooden flagpole. After awhile and possibly after getting bored with just waving the flag and being all scornful, he used the flagpole to try to smack a couple of protesters in the head; they reacted by grabbing the flag and tossing it on the ground.
E-5 officers, busy standing right in front of the station entrance, well behind the temporary barriers they had put up, did not react.
Palmer exchanges bon mots with his opponents:
Next up was Federico, who got into a scrum with protesters, in particular with his counterpart beef, with whom he'd been bellowing chin to chin earlier.
This time, police moved in and separated the parties. Not long after, one of Federico's pals, looking like a very angry and heavily tatted up and bearded Curly, took a swing at some protesters. He didn't connect. Again, police moved in and dragged him away, towards the 7-Eleven. At first the protesters jeered him, but then they turned their attention to the police, yelling at them "All cops are bastards! ACAB! All cops are bastards!"
When not busy trying to punch people, the man took time out to pose for a photo with a fan - while a protester joined in:
When they began to chant "Defund BPD!" Palmer tried to respond by starting a chant of "Defund BPS!" but nobody joined in. He was a bit more successful in getting some of the Federico crowd to start chanting about school vouchers, to which their opponents had no riposte.
Rayla Campbell, who wanted to run against Ayanna Pressley last year but couldn't get enough signatures, arrived about the same time as Palmer and used a bullhorn to tell the protesters to go back to "your mamma's basement."
The last major joust of the evening came not long before Federico got in his truck and pulled away around 7:20 p.m. He had a cooler in the bed of his pickup and, as the sweat on his back glistened in the gleam from a nearby streetlight, he offered it to one of his opponents. Wary, she refused, but he again offered and said some words no doubt soothing enough to convince her he was really offering her some cool water on a warm evening. She reached out for the bottle. And he snapped it away, grinning at how he had just psyched her out.
After surveying the scene a bit longer, he got in his truck and drove off, presumably back to Abington, wherever that is.
At least one back-the-bluer dressed up for the occasion (that's Rayla Campbell to his right):
Just in case, a couple of medics arrived with the supporters of police defunding (also on hand: observers from the ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild):
Why limit a protest to just one issue?
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Democracy (what's left of it) in action!
Aside from the pushin' and shovin' and swangin' and missin', and that bullhorn action (obvious assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm), this is an acceptable and compact summary of the current state of political discourse in our Great Experiment. Racists gonna racist, and lefties gonna twit them. Everyone knows that blue stripe means you're desperately afraid of losing your undeserved, blood-bathed white privilege.
Meanwhile, ain't nobody convincing anybody else of their anything else, ever. Even the nice-seeming Anti-Vax Mom and her unusually correctly-spelled sign. Blech. A shame: America had a good run until right-wing media, Zuck and his late-stage capitalist ilk, and their political stooges strangled any hope of workable political comity in their amoral pursuit of filthy lucre. Sic transit gloria.
As someone who knows people who do marketing for a living, I dislike the Defund the Police slogan, even though I agree that some current policing duties would be better handled by a different sort of professional. Libs need to hire better messaging consultants. "Reinvent Community Policing", maybe? I don't know. But DtP just plays into the hands of our most odious right-wing pols.
Thanks for documenting this particular clown show, Adam. You deserve hazard pay. Fuck white supremacy.
Totally agree, defund is
Totally agree, defund is meant to get a reaction and it does by essentially removing any possibility of rational discourse as most people stop listening right away. I'd rather see a positive spin instead of trying to stoke a negative fire. The ACAB chants don't help either. I'm squarely on the defund the police side of things but labels like that are not productive at all.
Politics are so fucked like this in general. Imagine any other job you've ever had where you disagreed with coworker. Has attacking thier entire character with a label ever been the solution? You'd be fired immediately. What a strange and stupid way to run a country.
Worst. Slogan. Ever.
Sure would like a take-back on that one.
The slogan's purpose is to divide people
All our political discourse is meant to divide people. We never make real efforts to solve problems. If either of these groups of people were given control of anything, they would fail utterly, because they are not serious people trying to solve problems, they are political/religious zealots.
The purpose of our political slogans is to draw boundaries between us and divide us. The "Defund the Police" slogan is doing its job perfectly.
Why not 'Decrease the Police' ?
It puts across the message more effectively -- fewer police, not no police. And it rhymes.
Police the Police
I want cops to be like surgeons: Highly trained and highly regulated with lots of oversight. To get a medical license requires years and years of training. To become a cop requires no advanced degree and just 6-9 months in an academy. That's a huge part of the problem right there.
If getting a better police force requires more money, so be it. I support more cops too, starting with more people to train and oversee the other officers. When the police budget is cut, they cut training and specialized positions first which is the opposite of progress.
Too bad that can't all that be boiled down to a catchy chant.
I would agree with you but it
I would agree with you but it's been done. So many cases of police going 'we need more training!" and getting $$ or cities getting sued and mandating training with the budget to support it and nothing gets better. The money gets spent on OT or second hand military gear or the cops sit in the class and scoff and laugh. Or the "training" is other right wing crazies who pump them up even more with the WE'RE THE LINE OF CIVILIZATION and US VERSUS THE WORLD - there's literal photos of powerpoints at some of these "trainings" police departments pay for and it looks like shit off the stormfront front page.
You can't train people out of a sick culture that thrives on zero oversight and deflecting their fuckups. You can't budget increase bullies and power-trippers and dudes who miss shooting civvies in Afghanistan into deescalation and mutual respect. It just doesn't work.
Now if you want to give a 3 year TEMPORARY increase so they can fire everybody and re-hire social work and human services people and train them in crowd control, that might work.
What we need is the the sort of buzzword bullshit that usually spews from b-schools - something like "right size" the police.
Because policing has gotten way beyond what it needs to be, and we need other services to be able to do their jobs without the "must control or kill" approach to mental health and social issues that we get with overexpanded policing.
Protect and Serve
It's hard to come up with a good slogan. I know I have failed. But there is a good purpose at the bottom of some of the criticisms: police are sometimes sent into situations where they are not the best solution. Police aren't social workers, and when a social worker is needed a social worker should be sent. And there are extents to which some police have lost contact with the fundamental purpose of their profession. The 'us and them' focus of training needs to be dealt with; I don't want anybody who thinks of me as a 'them' walking around with a gun in my neighborhood. The use of "policing" as a transitive verb becomes especially insidious in communities where most of the residents are Black and most of the police are white.
It might be worth a little 'capture the flag:' if what the good people who become police want to do is protect and serve, how about we do all we can to help them accomplish that? Refocus the mission. Situations where police are neither protecting anybody nor serving anybody aren't situations they should be in. Police who violate the public trust are as great a danger to the police as they are to the public. Let's make sure we support police in getting out the bad eggs, fraudsters and pedos.
I don't want to abolish the police. That's foolishness. I want the police to protect and serve.
Not necessarily anti-vax
I mean, odds are decent, but... I've met some fairly reasonable people who are pro-vaccine and anti-"vaccine passport".
(Depending on how such a passport was to be implemented, I might join them! As it is, I'm not too concerned, though.)
Thank you, Adam
Documenting and chronicaling white supremacy and white nationalist activity is something I want to see and I am glad that I made an financial contribution to
UHub earlier this year. I value this work and appreciate this post.
Even if readers don’t share the views I expressed above, I urge my fellow UHub inhabitants to “subscribe” to UHub if you can. I get we are all subscribed to death with apps, streaming, publications. But if you have room for one more, consider all the things you pay for that you use less than UHub.
Donnie Palmer and Rayla Campbell are white supremacist's. Got it.
“Check mate, Lib!”
Plenty of nonwhite people work to support and propagate white supremacy. Currently imprisoned Enrique Tarrio is leader of the white nationalist insurrectionist group the Proud Boys.
We're living in the dumbest
We're living in the dumbest timeline.
In the words of a cancelled comedian
NEVER challenge WORSE
to lapse completely into thinking things can only keep getting worse. I think maybe the age-old strategy of paying it no mind is in order.
I am less sanguine about our hopes of slowing
democracy's current downward spiral in an age where bigotry, ignorance and fear are so efficiently being amplified for profit. I was naive enough to believe in its early days that the Internet might bring a golden age of knowledge and art and comity, buoyed by the fact, for example, that it might enable punk-rock kids in their ones and twos in podunk towns across the country to build a community of similarly isolated, like-minded lovers of their harmless, weird little niche. Benevolent, brainy outsiders and misfits: unite, create, prosper, and make this a better, weirder world! That was my guileless dream.
Somehow I didn't foresee how this same tech would unify and embolden lonely closet Nazis, give a megaphone to braying, preening idiots who once could only afflict their family and friends, and enable greedy surveillance capitalists and power-hungry right-wing political and media figures to galvanize our worst, most hateful impulses for their own amoral purposes. Ironic now, given how much dystopian SF I consumed as a youth.
In 2021, it's hard for me to see how we might rein that in, let alone reverse it. I surely don't believe that ignoring it is going to make it go away.
Before we get too completely depressed ...
There were a total of maybe 60 people involved in this whole thing (maybe 80 if you throw in the cops and photographers). Compare that to the tens of thousands of people who made history in the Boston preliminary yesterday, and the millions who firmly rejected anti-science, pro-death fascism in California.
Thanks for throwing me a bone, Adam.
There are yet islands of hope!
I am in fact grateful to be able to set the clock-radio to waken me with the news again. I had to turn it off for a few years: rage and despair at relentless human folly are shitty accompaniments to morning coffee. I do actually feel a glimmer of qualified optimism these days. It was only a pitiful little fascist rally, after all.
That's not helping much
We're in a country where some ~30% of people reject vaccines (and embrace livestock dewormer) strictly out of politics. It's great we had a free and open election in Boston but a sizable percentage of the country backs the right for politicians to disregard the vote if it doesn't go their way.
Things are looking pretty bleak right now even if you consider the ~60 nuts who came to this thing complete outliers who represent nothing more than their desire for more friends.
Don't make you strong
"But had trouble keeping it up"
You don't say.
That's one of the feared side-effects
that the anti vaxxers claim the vaccine causes. So this guy, at least, has one less excuse for not getting a vaccination.
Maybe they think the Pfizer will give you a windsock so that you have to buy their Viagra.
Ironic, given that many of those dopes are
gobbling Ivermectin instead, which some studies suggest leads to sterility.
Contrary to some reports
taking Ivermectin for Covid does not give you a horse's dick. It does, however, make you a horse's ass.
Blue stripe flag
It's good to support the police instead of career criminals but the blue stripe flag is a desecration. Please come up with a new symbol to support the brave police officers who protect our city.
And how long
have you been married to a cop?
That's a bold stance, supporting cops
over career criminals. Where *do* you get your iconoclasm?
Punchy Palmer and Ultraviolent Rayla
According to his FB bio, he's a "Special Ed Paraprofessional at Boston Public Schools", so he's willing to sacrifice his own job for the cause.
And he "Studied CIS competetive ingeligient systems at Robert Morris University".
Misspelling "intelligent" as
Misspelling "intelligent" as ingeligient - the greatest irony.
Mayor Daley said it best
"The policeman is not here to create disorder. The policeman is here to preserve disorder."
Sheesh, they let critters like that run around loose? I thought this was a civilized part of the country.
Stop hunting for good will
When the bad the mad and the sad get together to stage a protest.
Looks like there is too much
Looks like there is too much chlorine in that gene pool.
I wonder if they backed the blue on January 6th.
What a piece of work
Wow, Federico is a dyed-in-the-wool sociopath, isn't he? Can you imagine being related to someone like that? Like, you see someone you need to share a home with engaging in such pathological, sadistic behavior? How could you even sleep at night with that in the house?
I noticed most dissenting
I noticed most dissenting opinions get deleted from the blog, very telling
And how would you know that?
Unless you're writing most of those opinions, in which case might I suggest another hobby?
I think it probably helps to
get out of the "anon" vacuum and create an actual persona to post here if you desire less heavy moderation. I suspect that most of the posts that deserve censoring (for spewing hateful bullshit and disinformation) come from anons, so even if you're well-behaved, you're starting as a second-class citizen. Get a name.
Or don't make it through moderation
If you create an account, that won't be an issue, and Adam would have to take positive action if he wanted to remove such a comment.
He's actually quite permissive, probably too much in my opinion.
I noticed you posted an annonymous complaint,
Get a 'nym
Seriously. Years ago Slashdot named their anons "Anonymous Coward" for a reason, ya know?
Dissenting stays. Hate gets flushed
I bet your "dissenting" posts would make it through if they were based on facts.
All of these photos come with complimentary smell-o-vision. Both sides win (or lose depending on how you look at it).
No noses were harmed in the making of these dueling protests. Ears, however ...
Adam, that cover photo
is simply :chefkiss: The crazy eyes, the lack of chin, the chain, the goatee... that's Pulitzer material, right there.
The forced perspective
also makes it look like he has an enormous head (or the police officer has a tiny one).
You can see another photo of him ...
Further down: He's the guy posing with a fan while a protester does some bunny ears behind him.
Adam for the win!
Adam, you are the only winner in this whole sad, sordid tale. Thank you for your efforts and talent.
You know the worst ppl in the city are there
if you see Ingrid Calder...
Bad move by the police
Keeping the two sides apart ensures a level of peace. Putting them feet from each other almost guarantees some level of violence. I mean, one side brought "medics," which would seem to indicate violence is due.
Why "medics" in quotes?
This goes all the way back to Germany in the '30s, Waquoit, where an ER nurse observed that Nazis were brought in with lumps on their heads and leftists were brought in with knives in their backs. One side understands that they may be targeted with violence and that agents of the state may stand by, may be perpetrators and may prevent EMS from reaching the victims. There is all too much history of this in recent years.
People carry guns because for self defense, too
Yet somehow they are more inclined to use them when they have them.
I repeat, if you are going to protest peacefully yet are prepared for the aftermath of a violent confrontation, you are not planning on protesting peacefully. The SCLC didn't have "medics" even when they knew the truncheons were going to be deployed against them, because they decided that their tactics would be peaceful. Certain groups on the left have shown recently that they have no intention of imitating the work of the SCLC.
At the end of the day, letting these 2 groups come close to each other was a bad move.
Thanks for the education
Otherwise, I would have had no idea what the flag two campsites down from us was all about.