Free Speech Group to Hold Another Boston Common Rally in November — With or Without Permit

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The same Fitchburg State University student who helped organize August’s free speech rally on Boston Common says he’s planning to submit another rally application to City Council.

The rally, tentatively scheduled for November 18 and dubbed “Rally for the Republic,” was announced on social media by Free Speech Boston, the same group that hosted the August 19 “Free Speech Rally” that drew an estimated 40,000 protesters and resulted in dozens of arrests.

John Medlar, who attends Fitchburg State University and serves as a spokesman for Free Speech Boston, told the Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise he was disappointed in the way city officials handled the last rally, where attendance was capped at 100 and police ringed the Common’s Parkman Bandstand with barricades that essentially prevented anyone unable to pass through security from hearing any of the speakers. Boston police brass specifically barred reporters from entering the zone around the bandstand.

Medlar said he is one of five organizers seeking a permit to assemble at the bandstand at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 18 and added that this time he will push officials to allow his organization to use loudspeaker equipment.

“We’re going to insist on having amplified sound at the next rally, we’re not going to give into the same kind of concessions we did last time,” Medlar told the newspaper. “It’s in the city’s best interest to approve the permit because if they think they can make us go away by delaying and delaying, they’ve got another answer coming to them.”

According to Free Speech Boston, next month’s rally is being sponsored in part by a group calling itself Resist Marxism. The organization apparently formed following August’s rally, which was dominated by protesters aligned with Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and other leftist outfits.

“The Rally for the Republic is a patriotic themed rally to defend free speech in Boston, support the Constitution, stand for the nation’s flag, and honor the veterans who gave their lives in service to the nation,” Resist Marxism posted on its website.  

The group claims that the purpose of the rally is to “defend the republic and reclaim free speech in Boston,” which they posit has been “under attack by local governments and violent groups such as Antifa.”

“The nation’s flag is being disrespected by athletes, celebrities and politicians,” the group stated. “The Constitution is under attack and Marxists are openly proclaiming a revolution.”

“The sacrifices of veterans who died to protect our freedoms are forgotten. It is time to reclaim our nation and what better place to do this than in the city where the American Revolution began.”

The group decried the city’s handling of the August 19 rally, particularly “the administration of Mayor Marty Walsh.”

“The mayor slandered the organizers from the Boston Free Speech group by claiming that they had an association with neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other unsavory groups,” Resist Marxism says on its website.

The August 19 rally occurred about a week after a rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia devolved into violence. The Charlottesville rally, held apparently to defend statues honoring the Confederacy, was organized by self-avowed white supremacists. The Boston Free Speech rally had been scheduled more than a month in advance of Charlottesville’s. The group held its first rally last spring, one which did not include restrictions from the city to the extent the group experienced in August. 

“The police under the mayor’s direction prevented both the public and the media from entering the rally,” Resist Marxism pointed out. “They also enforced conditions on the few people that were able to get into the rally such as not letting them have flags, signs, and protective gear.

“No such conditions were enforced upon the counter-protesters. The violent mobs blocked the entrance to the rally and attacked people who wanted to participate.”

The group says it applied for a rally permit on September 18 and that it has yet to hear back from the city. Members of Resist Marxism have promised that they will move forward with the rally even if they do not receive a permit.

“Despite the lack of a permit, one is not required to hold a rally on Boston Common,” the group noted.  “We are within our Constitutional rights to host a rally without a permit.”

Reached on Tuesday evening, Medlar told New Boston Post he is unable to comment “at this time” and directed questions to the Resist Marxism website, which he said will be “updated regularly.” 

“If you have any questions which the website doesn’t cover, let me know.”

Regarding the host of restrictions imposed by city officials on the August rally, Medlar said, “that’s why we’re coming back.”