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Resist Marxism plans free speech rally without permit

A flyer advertising Resist Marxism’s Rally for the Republic on Nov. 18 is ripped outside of Boston City Hall. PHOTO BY LEXI PEERY/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

An anti-Marxist organization announced its plans Friday to proceed with its free speech rally at the Boston Common, scheduled for Nov. 18, despite not being granted the necessary permit.

City officials denied the group’s permit request due to an overlap with a family-friendly 5K race set to take place at the Boston Commons that same day.

Resist Marxism’s Rally for the Republic aims to bring together an estimated 2,000 individuals to rally against anti-nationalist actions and, “defend freedom of speech in Boston from the machinations of [Boston] Mayor Marty Walsh and the violence of the mobs,” according to the official Resist Marxism website.

The group will stop at nothing to host their rally, said a spokesperson for the group Resist Marxism, who wished to remain anonymous.

“We are exercising our First Amendment rights and will not be deterred by threats,” the spokesperson said.

Resist Marxism does not desire to engage in aggressive dialogue or violence, despite allegations that they provided a platform for racist speech at the August rally, according to the site. Dubbed the Boston Free Speech Rally, the gathering of a free speech group at the Common following the incident in Charlottesville drew thousands of counter-protestors, The Daily Free Press reported.

Ryan Woods, director of external affairs for the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, said Resist Marxism submitted their permit application on Sept. 18, but a preexisting application for the Camp Harbor View 5K road race had been filed months before on March 1 and took precedence.

Woods said Resist Marxism was immediately alerted of the scheduling issue, but argued over event timing, rather than adjusting their schedule.

“We offered them a permit for the 19th instead, but they refused it and said it was impossible because they had a speaker and attendees that were flying in from out of state,” Woods said. “So, they told us they were still going ahead with their event on the 18th.”

Resist Marxism claims they did not receive an email denying their permit request until Oct. 26 — long after the 10-business-day waiting period the Boston Parks and Recreation Department outlines on their website.

“They did attempt to get us to move the rally to November 19th in exchange for a permit, but, unfortunately, it was too late,” Resist Marxism said on the site. “Plane tickets had already been purchased, hotel arrangements had been made, and people had scheduled time off.”

Woods said because group demonstrations are a daily occurrence in the Boston Common, and most organizers do not apply for permits, the City will take no restrictive measures to prevent the rally.

“Groups have their freedom of speech every week in the park,” Woods said. “So, [Resist Marxism is] allowed to come that day and have their own peaceful rally, as they say they plan to do, and we won’t stop them from doing that.”

Professor Lawrence Friedman of New England Law explained that, ordinarily, there are legal restrictions on organized speech events in public parks like the Common, and that he is surprised by the City’s leniency in allowing the rally to go on without a permit.

“Typically, it is illegal for rally organizers to proceed without a permit,” Friedman said. “But, it seems that the City, in its discretion, will allow the unpermitted rally to go forward, albeit without sound amplification.”

Several Boston residents expressed varying opinions concerning the rally overlapping with a family event.

Anna Duarte, 31, of Dorchester, said, as a mother, she is concerned by the prospect of a controversial organization interfering with a children’s event.

“Despite whatever claims the organizers make about planning for a civil rally they could be disruptive, or even aggressive, like many rallies in the Common are, and that makes me uneasy about this overlapping with an event meant for children,” Duarte said.

Chris Anderson, 40, of Beacon Hill, said he believes any organization should be welcome to express their views in Boston, but Resist Marxism must take responsibility if the rally disturbs the children attending the road race.

“If one group can hold an event, others should be able to do the same, no matter their views and the city shouldn’t discriminate with issuing permits based on those views,” Anderson said. “Though, if the rally gets out of hand, that’s on Resist Marxism because they did it when asked not to, with the knowledge that kids would be around.”

Cassie Lee, 26, of Brighton, said she was disappointed by Resist Marxism’s unwillingness to be flexible with their planning and believes the rally will attract a considerable number of counter protesters.

“I don’t think they should’ve been denied the permit just because they’ve been accused of giving racists a platform to spew hate speech, but I think it says a lot about their organization’s values that they refused to move their rally back even a single day to let the kids have their race,” Lee said.



One Comment

  1. I have been trying to reach out to Mayor Walsh since we were told the rally permit was denied. He has yet to respond. I have messaged several copies to various media sites to try to respond to fallacies being thrown around and making the Resist Marxism appear as though we are nothing but trouble makers. Fact is- Mayor Walsh doesn’t share our stance and I believe that clouds his judgement as he has made it very clear he supports the Anti-fa, BAMN and other hate groups that are bordering on be given the title of terrorist groups. I have seen many instances where there were more than 1 activity at the common at the same time, so that excuse is just that a biased excuse to attempt to violate our 1st amendment rights. The follow message is the one I have been trying to reach out to the Mayor but he seems to have no interest in speaking with me.
    Mayor Walsh.
    I have been in attendance at 3 rallys in Boston since March. The first 2 were relatively uneventful, while the 3rd was exceedingly violent. That violence was not the fault of those attending the rally. It was in large part the result of a message sent by the KKK, Thomas Robb, who stated he was sending some members of their racial hate group. They were not invited, nor were they going to be given a platform to use our time to spew their disgusting hateful message. Yes, we are all for freedom of speech, however, the deaths and violence of the past of this group is not something I personally want to promote, as was the message given by John Medlar, who obtained the permit for the August rally. The intent to continue on with our rally as planned without a permit is not to be disrespectful, as you stated in an interview. We are continuing on as people already have plane flights, rooms booked, job arrangements made, etc. You also stated that you didn’t think we had a message- to this I say- clearly, you have not paid any attention to what has been said at the rallys, and your opinion seems to be a bit biased without a reason . While I am not a member of any group, I know who they are, what they stand for and respect them. However, I choose not to be identified as a member of any group because there are some beliefs that are not mine. That’s called respectfully disagreeing and the freedom to voice those things. While I understand why you would make assumptions about our stances on things, I think you do have a responsibility to your constituents to obtain accurate information, instead of listening to innuendo that is incorrect. Doing so fosters the hatred that has developed but is unnecessary and unwarranted. Maybe if you listened to those speaking YOURSELF or had someone attend on your behalf, you might develop an accurate opinion of those who attend the rallys. I am not sure if you are aware of what the rally in Washington DC was about. It was a uniting patriotism rally and, while I disagreed with the organizer giving the BLM members in attendance a platform, it was well received by many. Unfortunately for those members, they were quickly excommunicated by the other factions of the BLM movement. So that just shows who the true racists are, and the ones actually spreading hatred. As for my disagreement there, it had nothing to do with their skin color, and everything to do with the actions of those who have shown up, blocking the streets, looting, rioting, shooting at cops, etc. I hope, before there is more inaccurate information spoken to the media, that you possibly be a little open minded and listen to what our actual purpose is.
    Thank you for your time.
    Tara Patenaude