The far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12 and president Donald Trump’s equivocal reaction to it have stirred new fears about right-wing hate groups in the US. But a series of anti-racism protests around the country a week later provided some reassuring evidence that most Americans don’t side with these fringe groups, nor with the president’s attempt to assign blame equally for the violence that killed one counter-protestor in Charlottesville.
In Boston on Aug. 19, those “counter-protestors” outnumbered a mostly white, male “free-speech” rally that included right-wing speakers by 40,000 to about 100. In Laguna Beach, California, dozens of anti-immigrant protestors were outshouted by a crowd estimated at more than 2,000, who chanted “Shame” at the small group. Here’s how Boston looked from above:
The marchers in Boston included people like Imani Williams, a 27-year-old African American woman, who defended a Trump supporter trying to move through a crowd of angry anti-racism protestors to make sure he was safe, because “we’re all part of the same country.”
One man brought a “Nazis suck” sheetcake to the Boston demonstration:
Others perfected the creative chant “If you’re a Nazi and you’re fired, it’s your fault!” to the tune of the well-known nursery rhyme:
Atlanta’s protest against hate, which ended at Martin Luther King’s tomb, featured dancing and singing.
The Boston police department’s even-handed policing of the huge demonstration there, which resulted in 33 arrests, culminated in police commissioner William Evans commenting, in an impressive Boston accent, that “99.9% of the people were here for the right reasons—to fight bigotry and hate.”