Slander Suit Highlights Unacceptable Conduct By Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he doesn’t know what a defamation lawsuit filed against him this week is all about, but everyone who followed the story this past summer should.

In August, Walsh helped whip up hysteria against the organizers of a Free Speech Rally on Boston Common, labeling them racists and hatemongers who shouldn’t hold an event in Boston.

An estimated 40,000 counter-protesters showed up to protest a few dozen people. While most of the counter-protesters were peaceful, some weren’t, leading to scuffling, assaults, and arrests – of counter-protesters.

And what about those racists?

Apparently no racist or hateful rhetoric was spoken on Parkman Bandstand.

We say “apparently” because Walsh’s administration didn’t allow reporters at the Free Speech Rally, so no comprehensive report of what participants said and did there has ever surfaced. The only widely circulated record of the event is video of a speech by a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Shiva Ayyadurai, which is mild.

One of the organizers of the event says he was harassed on social media and eventually lost his job, and he’s suing in Berkshire Superior Court for $100 million.

The rally and counter-protest took place a week after the disaster in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists and left-wing radicals clashed and where a white supremacist drove his car fast into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and injuring many more.

So Walsh and Boston police were right to take strong safety precautions to make sure something similar didn’t happen here.

The way you know Walsh isn’t on the level, however, is the way he sandbagged organizers of the Free Speech Rally. He mischaracterized their intentions repeatedly before the event. And issuing a directive specifically barring reporters from covering a public event is unheard of.

In other words, he controlled the message, from start to finish, substituting politically expedient talking points for the truth and then making sure that his victims couldn’t even get their side out.

He hindered free speech and freedom of the press, both protected by the First Amendment of the federal constitution and Article XVI of the Massachusetts Constitution.

Walsh gets another turn at bat next month, as organizers of the Free Speech Rally are planning to hold a rally on Boston Common they are calling Resist Marxism. It’s set for Saturday, November 18.

Perhaps Walsh will follow the law this time.