James Adler

Yesterday at the Boston Anti-Fascist Rally

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Just got back from the Boston anti-Nazi anti-KKK counterprotest rally. We so outnumbered them. Marched down Beacon Street, where my favorite sign was (borrowing from Trump’s main slogan) “Make Racists Afraid Again.” I was at (I think) the biggest stage, at Black Lives Matter — very well organized, and the police were tremendously well-organized and out in force.

Once the KKK-Nazis marched down Charles Street, next to us about 25 feet away, and the BLM organizers had us chant first (to educate ourselves) “Do! Not! Engage!, Do! Not! Engage!,” and when no altercation seemed likely — it seemed that the Nazis were the frightened ones — we chanted “OUR City! OUR City! OUR City!”

Organizers megaphoned us to stay away from Charles Street and the Nazi march and stay with the crowd, where we were told there was “safety in numbers” so not to wander off and be separated from the crowd nucleus where we could become endangered.

There may have been more trouble on the other side where fewer of us were and their permanent station was, and our organizers called for available medics and clergy to go over there.

We were disciplined, the police were out in overwhelming numerical force and were also prepared and disciplined, and we and the police all seemed on the same side as — again — OUR CITY — and it was an altogether inspiring experience of confidence and vast outnumbering, overwhelming push-back and empowerment.

About the Author
James Adler was born in Kentucky, now works in university libraries, and feels especially and intensely bound up with the fate of the Jewish people in the last hundred years, especially the Shoah, the rise of Israel "out of the ashes," and the accidental and mutually tragic collision with the Palestinians in the early and middle of the 20th century, continuing through today. He is happily married and the father of two teenagers.