Protesters show at tea party event in Boston (Paul Weiskel/Flickr
Arrests, police misconduct, and still more infringements on the First Amendment went down in the Bay State on Sunday afternooon.
Scott Lively, professional worldwide hunter of homosexuals and top proponent of "gay cure," was honored speaker at a tax day event organized by the Massachusetts Tea Party Coalition in affiliation with Tea Party Patriots at the Boston Commons.
And no one was more excited about his attendance than Mass Resistance. Mass Resistance is perhaps among the most radical and fringe of the 18 groups featured on Southern Poverty Law Center's anti-gay hate groups list, which is saying a lot. In 2006 and 2007 they pushed a repeal of Massachusetts's marriage equality:
The group proposed language that lumped sexual orientation (which includes heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality) in with criminal behaviors like bestiality and polygamy. During legislative testimony supporting the amendment, Camenker falsely claimed that no homosexuals died in the Holocaust and that the pink triangle the Nazis forced imprisoned gays to wear actually signified Catholic priests.
Lively is directly linked
to the infamous "Kill the Gays" movement in Uganda. In fact, he bragged in 2009 he'd detonated a “nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda.”
What he opened was a pandora's box of hate that reverberated through the continent.
And for this all, some Ugandans are actually asking Lively to pay for his crimes against humanity. He is facing a lawsuit in U.S. federal court over his activities in that country. From the New York Times:
A Ugandan gay rights group filed suit against an American evangelist, Scott Lively, in federal court in Massachusetts on Wednesday, accusing him of violating international law by inciting the persecution of gay men and lesbians in Uganda.
The lawsuit maintains that beginning in 2002, Mr. Lively conspired with religious and political leaders in Uganda to whip up anti-gay hysteria with warnings that gay people would sodomize African children and corrupt their culture. [...]
Mr. Lively is being sued by the organization Sexual Minorities Uganda under the alien tort statute, which allows foreigners to sue in American courts in situations asserting the violation of international law. The suit says that Mr. Lively’s actions resulted in the persecution, arrest, torture and murder of gay men and lesbians in Uganda.
It seems like a big long shot, but the pedigree of the plaintiff counsel is very good. They are represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights
, which has successfully argued in support of Guantanamo Bay detainees' habeas corpus rights before the Supreme Court. Most recently they won Rasul v. Bush
, Boumediene v. Bush,
and they have a long, proud history.
(Continue reading below the fold)
Which is all a lot of background to tell you that some people protested. There were protesters of a variety of kinds, but some were there specifically because of Scott Lively's presence because he's a bad man. A very, very bad man. And the blood from David Kato's murder is all over Lively's hands, and the very least that can be done is his actions will haunt him for life, even it's likely no court will ever hold him accountable.
And Mass Resistance is already apoplectic that the "homosexual activists" showed up to confront their hate fest, posting to their website, "Mob of homosexual activists overrun & nearly shut down Boston Common Tea Party event as police look on and do nothing."
Mass Resistance website
Since they didn't update their site, it should be noted that listed guest former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson pulled out of his scheduled speaking slot,
specifically saying as a supporter of the LGBT rights it "would not be appropriate" for him to attend what was very clearly shaping up to be an anti-gay hate rally. Wise move, Gov.
This will perhaps continue to be a fissure between the libertarians which Johnson includes himself, and the social conservative factions of the tea party. The Boston Herald reported on the friction just weeks ago, specifically relative to this very event.
Several Tea Party groups across Massachusetts are dividing into two camps — those who want to focus on conservative economic issues and others who want to expand into social issues, such as illegal immigration and gay rights.
The article notes that both camps do agree they both hate Sen. Scott Brown now. Apparently the fiscal conservative tea baggers had their little party in Worcester, and the theocrats convened in Boston. Mass Resistance is upset
that the Worchester group is too moderate and "attacking" them (by not attacking gays):
Establishment moderates attack Patriots Day Tea Party event for having pro-family themes. Set up alternative "fiscal issues only" Tea Party event at same time in Worcester.
The Mass Resistance report above that police looked on and did nothing, is of course, a lie (you know this because their keyboards are engaged). In fact, there were arrests, and we have photos of them. And, as is becoming far too common, police brutality charges have surfaced regarding their treatment of protestors. From the Boston Globe:
The department was criticized after photographs circulated online that appear to depict a city officer with his right hand around the throat of a man at the protest. The man is wearing a bandanna that covers the lower part of his face. Both of his hands are at his own waist, holding a pink wig.
Elaine Driscoll, a spokeswoman for the Boston Police Department said that the photographs, which were posted to the picture-sharing website Flickr, appeared to be from the Common, when protestors rushed the stage at the Tea Party event, which had a permit.
Police also attempted to shut down people from documenting their behavior:
Photographer Paul Weiskel says:
He gave no reason, I was back peddling taking pictures and he just kept coming and grabbed for my camera twice.
He says the officer eventually gave up, as Weiskel kept stepping back. He says the officer's badge number is #4534,
and he'll be following up with the ACLU.
The department is reviewing the appropriateness of the police response. So it looks like that's on it's way to maybe becoming a thing.
Reports from attendees were that in response to disturbances by protestors, one of the speakers said from the podium, broadcast across the loud speakers at the Commons, "We will not be silenced by faggots."
Asked to clarify, the attendee said:
It apparently might come as news to these "pro-family" activists that all "faggots" are someone's family, too. Shame on them for speaking that way about the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces even parents of millions of Americans. This is no expression of disagreement over a public policy differences. This is an attack on every American family.
Hate is not an American nor a family value.
It is not yet clear who was speaking. It was apparently about 3:15 PM. A speaker schedule is posted here. Lively is the second to last speaker, the event broke at 4:00.
Way to demonstrate you're not a movement that exists just to foment hatred. In this case, of gays, but certainly we've seen plenty directed at people of color.
And by the way, wasn't shouting down people in public the clearly, explicitly, enunciated strategy that formed the entire first act of the tea party during health care reform debate?
Maybe the right to protest only extends to "real Americans"?
Update: Mike Bell also has an account here of this event, and says, "Saugus' Carlos Armando Hernandez (founder of the Saugus TP and the North Short TP) said they had expected a lot more folk" but only about 100 people showed and about 40 counter-demonstrators.
Update 2: The photographer allowed ABC 7 affiliate in Boston to use his photo with permission and in accordance with his Flickr copyright rules. The station however blurred out the officer's face (presumably to shield his identity) and the photographer is now saying (correctly) this violated the copyright terms not to alter the image. You can see the WHDH usage of the photo here.
Update 3: Back2Stonewall blog has a firsthand account from trans activist that participated. Protesters chanted: “RACIST, SEXIST, ANTI-QUEER / YOU CAN’T MAKE US LIVE IN FEAR” and “PREACH LOVE, NOT HATE”.
There were at least 5 independent groups protesting against the rally today, two of which was Occupy Boston Queer and Trans Direct Action Working Group
We had plans to “Mic Check” the event, with some language about how their supposed “family values” actually destroy families that have LGBT members in them etc. Some of us were dressed up, others were attempting to go “stealth”. I was one of the “dressed up” people — wearing a wig, glitter, some make up, and a black bandana over my face. We were in the crowd ready to mic check when the Antifa group came marching in carrying a banner, chanting about women’s rights. I think they were more protesting the Tea Party in general as being a neo-fascist group rather than specifically protesting the anti-LGBT hate groups being represented.
Anyway, a Tea Partier grabbed their banner, an altercation developed, and the Occupy Boston groups started chanting “FASCISTS OUT”, as the Tea Partiers chanted “USA! USA!” (oh the irony…)
Much more at the blog, I'll let you follow the link
, as it's Will's scoop.