Judges refuse to let prosecutors give a pass to Antifa members busted at Straight Pride march
BOSTON, September 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Saturday saw the much-maligned Boston Straight Pride Parade descend on left-wing Massachusetts, leading to a clash between marchers and far-left counter-protestors and dozens of arrests.
In June, an organization called Super Happy Fun America (SHFA) announced plans for a Boston Straight Pride Parade in August to “achieve inclusivity and spread awareness of issues impacting straights in Greater Boston and beyond.” The website’s semi-facetious tone and organizer Mark Sahady’s history of tweaking liberal sensibilities suggested the event was meant to lampoon the widely-accepted premise of “gay pride.”
First amendment attorney now saying no guarantee that Boston PD will stop an antifa bloc.— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) August 31, 2019
“We’ll see what happens.” pic.twitter.com/k39UoKSmxV
The event drew various protestors, including members of the violent, far-left Antifa movement.
The Washington Times reported that the parade itself had just 200 participants compared with more than a thousand counter-protestors, culminating in 36 arrests for charges ranging from disorderly conduct to assaulting police officers. The Boston Herald quoted Antifa member Jon Crowley as both admitting and attempting to justify violent intent: “We’re covered in black so when we attack these guys we can’t be prosecuted. They are fascists, 100 percent. How else are you going to get them to shut up?”
Notably, prosecutors themselves attempted to have charges against 18 of the suspects dismissed, but two Boston municipal court judges refused to let the left-wing activists off.
Judge Richard Sinnott rejected prosecutors’ motion to drop low-level charges against several defendants in exchange for community service, and Judge Thomas Horgan warned three activists who had come from outside the city to “stay out of Boston.”
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins complained that the defendants Sinnott refused to let off were being punished for nothing more than “exercising their right to free speech.” But Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association vice president Larry Calderone defended the outcome.
“A lot of the assaults that happened during the day, you only knew of a few of them,”he said. “Many officers were assaulted throughout the day with bottles of urine being thrown at them, bottles of chemicals, bottles of unidentified material, rocks.”
“Why is it that other people can have a pride parade and it’s considered OK, and they have about 2,000 LGBTQ events every year, but we want a few hours and they all get out and protest and give us the finger and swear at us?” SHFA’s John Hugo asked the Herald. “Give me a break.”
Meanwhile, left-wing Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, and Ayanna Pressley, D-Massachusetts, endorsed a fundraiser to help pay the legal defenses of the arrested counter-protestors. Ocasio-Cortez called the straight pride march a “white supremacist parade” and claimed the counter-protestors, which included violent Antifa members, were simply people who “put themselves on the line protecting the Boston community.”