BOSTON — A large group of around 100 people or so, reportedly of the white supremacist group The Patriot Front, marched through the heart of downtown Boston Saturday afternoon sparking a confrontation.
A call came in at around 12:30 p.m. or thereabouts, which announced that a group had gone up to a rental truck parked in the area of the Haymarket MBTA station and off-loaded a number of shields and flags, many of which were U.S. flags, with at least one flown upside-down and many showing just the 13 stars in a circle for the original U.S. colonies, as well as flags featuring different designs.
“If you truly wish for safety, you will have it. But you can take nothing else with you,” an unmasked member of the group said through a bullhorn when the group stopped in front of the Boston Public Library among shouts from onlookers. “Not your home, not your family, not your liberty. There you will be alone with your safety in a rotted world.”
One Black man was seen tangling with the groups as tempers flared, The Boston Herald observed.
The group decamped at around 1:30 p.m. at Back Bay Station, according to a Herald photographer on the ground, where they then packed their materials back into a rental truck and left on the T.
“I’m outraged and disgusted at the white supremacist group protesting today in Boston,” City Council president Ed Flynn, who represents the area of the city the group marched, told the Herald. “It’s critical to call out hate and intimidation when we see it, educate children on horrors of the past and stand with the Jewish community, our immigrant neighbors and communities of color.”
Photos from the scene show that many, if not most, of the group are dressed in matching khaki pants and navy or dark-colored polo shirts and wore bandanas or a like covering over their lower faces and are wearing sunglasses and ball caps.
As of 1:14 p.m., they had marched down Commonwealth Avenue and turned toward Dartmouth Street toward Boylston before stopping in the area of the Boston Public Library, according to a Herald photographer on the ground.
It was at the library where fliers were found announcing the group — or at least part of the group — as belonging to The Patriot Front, a group described as a white nationalist or white supremacist organization by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Since 2019, Patriot Front has been responsible for the vast majority of white supremacist propaganda distributed in the United States,” the ADL wrote in its profile of the group. “One of the United States’ most visible white supremacist groups, Patriot Front participates in localized ‘flash demonstrations’ across the nation.”
The flier depicts an octopus with one eye, a Democratic Party donkey and the other a Republican Party elephant swallowing or engulfing an outline of the continental United States under the headline “Two Parties, One Tyranny.”
“The party system murdered the American Republic and replaced it with a fake democracy ruled by lobbyists, bankers, and unelected bureaucrats,” the flier says in part. “The true rulers of the State never receive any votes. Elections are now only mass illusions of popular sovereignty.”
It is unclear what specifically the group is attempting to protest in Boston. A request for comment sent Saturday afternoon to the group’s official channel on the social media platform Gab was not immediately returned.