An estimated 40,000 people turned out on Saturday to say no to hate, racism, and neo-Nazis, but it remains unclear how many of the 50 people at the free speech rally that spawned the massive protest fit that description.
Shiva Ayyadurai, a Republican running for the seat of US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, produced a 12-minute video of him speaking at the rally at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common with people holding campaign signs behind him saying “Black Lives Do Matter.”
“This was a completely, completely, completely positive event,” Ayyadurai told CommonWealth. “It had nothing to do with racism. Nothing to do with white supremacy.” Ayyadurai said much the same on NECN.
April Sutherland, a Medford resident who attended the rally, said no white supremacists were there. “Not at all,” she said. “I talked to a few people there. They were from the Green Party, they were Bernie Sanders supporters. There were a couple of black guys there.”
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said “there were a couple of white supremacists participating in the rally, as well as a sprinkling of other people with different beliefs, and some Trump supporters.”
Boston Police Lt. Detective Michael McCarthy identified Nathan Mizrahi as one of the people Walsh was referring to. Mizrahi, of Norwich, New York, came to the rally with a friend. Both men were wearing body armor, which was confiscated by police before the men were permitted to attend the rally. Police discovered a loaded handgun inside Mizrahi’s body armor, so police arrested him when he came to pick up his gear after the rally and charged him with illegal possession of a firearm. Mizrahi is licensed to carry a handgun in New York but not in Massachusetts.
The Boston Herald reported that Mizrahi is the cofounder of the Liberty State Militia and quoted his girlfriend as saying he came to the rally to protect Tammy Lee of the American Freedom Keepers, whose website says it was founded by “patriots with a duty to stand in defense of our unalienable rights and support of our Constitution.”
Kevin C. Peterson, founder of the New Democracy Coalition, praised the 40,000 protesters in a WBUR column for making “a mockery of that motley band of moral nincompoops seeking to preach the poison of hate.”
Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi, however, took a very cautious approach in describing the rally participants. She described them as having “indeterminate beliefs and ideology” and said “the day belonged to counterprotesters who shouted ‘shame, shame, shame’ and chased down people they called ‘Nazi scum,’ even though no one absolutely identified as a Nazi was in attendance.”
The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association sent a letter to lawmakers supporting Gov. Charlie Baker’s controversial legislation governing how police should cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers. (MassLive) The letter was signed by Brian Keyes, the chief in Chelsea, who has strongly opposed President Trump’s plan to penalize financially those communities that don’t cooperate with ICE. (WBUR)
Baker administration officials considered offering as much as $16 million in financial incentives to lure Aetna to relocated from Connecticut to Massachusetts. (MassLive)
Energy and Environment Secretary Matt Beaton quietly reimbursed the state six months after the fact for a one-day trip he took to Florida to attend a press conference with Gov. Charlie Baker. (Boston Globe)
An Eagle-Tribune editorial urges passage of legislation requiring home sellers to disclose whether lead pipes exist in the house.
Dudley’s highway superintendent, Daniel Gion, apologizes for calling an African-American CNN commentator a “stupid porch monkey” during an off-work, online discussion. Gion is currently on paid administrative leave. (Telegram & Gazette)
Two companies want to open medical pot dispensaries next door to each other in Peabody. (Salem News)
Worcester officials open the city’s first dog park. (Telegram & Gazette)
Brennan Gilmore, who captured on video the car that plowed into a group of people, killing one, at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, said he has been targeted by the alt-right and accused of trying to start a race war. (Politico)
Virginia voters are divided on who is to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, want to retain Confederacy statues, and fault President Trump for his handling of the incident. (MassINC Polling Group) A Washington Post-ABC News poll indicates 56 percent of Americans disapprove of the president’s handling of the Charlottesville incident. (Time) Historians are conflicted over the move to remove statues honoring Confederate leaders. (Boston Globe)
Trump announces a new strategy in Afghanistan, though with few details, but vows to bring in Pakistan and India and promises the commitment in America’s longest war will not be open-ended. (U.S. News & World Report) The multitude of generals among Trump’s advisers convinced the president, who had previously supported pulling out of Afghanistan, about the need to commit at least 4,000 more troops to the effort. (New York Times)
A new Trump regulation would make it nearly impossible for nursing home residents to file lawsuits in case of abuse. (NPR)
Business leaders are nervous but Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell says there is “zero chance” that Congress won’t raise the country’s debt limit in advance of a September 29 deadline. (Boston Globe)
A hearing aid bill pushed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren is signed into law. (Associated Press)
A Globe editorial preemptively decries the idea that Trump might pardon disgraced former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Not a minute of air time has yet been booked on Boston television stations for campaign ads in Boston’s sleepy mayoral race. (Boston Herald)
Herald columnist Jaclyn Cashman suggests Trump-loving state rep. Geoff Diehl might have the best shot of any Republican at dislodging Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Boston city councilors want to explore ways the city could launch same-day voter registration on election days. (Boston Globe)
Mortgages rates have remained low despite predictions of a rise after Trump’s election. (Boston Globe)
Southcoast lawmakers have sent a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker asking him to apply assets forfeited by Carlos Rafael, the so-called “Codfather” convicted of money laundering, toward improved electronic monitoring for fishing vessels to keep track of fish stocks. (Standard-Times)
The Lowell School Committee closed a $610,000 budget gap with no staff cuts. (Lowell Sun)
Massasoit Community College in Brockton is joining with Cape Cod Community College to offer an aviation technology program at Plymouth Municipal Airport. (The Enterprise)
In the wake of the collapse of the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii will propose allowing states to offer a broader public “buy-in” in Medicaid coverage. (Vox)
Michael Widmer says Luis Ramirez’s lack of public sector experience is troubling as he prepares to take the reins at the MBTA. (CommonWealth)
Bostonians paused to take in yesterday’s solar eclipse, which was still something to see even hundreds of miles of the “path of totality.” (Boston Globe) A study estimated the eclipse cost businesses and government $700 million in lost productivity. (U.S. News & World Report)
A number of Cape Cod shellfishing areas remain closed while officials test the waters after torrential rains over the weekend caused runoff with potential pollutants to flow into the bays. (Cape Cod Times)
A 30-year-old Roxbury woman was shot killed on the patio of her childhood home on Sunday night, the apparent victim of stray gunfire. (Boston Herald)
A Dorchester fugitive wanted for the murder of a Weymouth woman had been deported in 2012 before returning to the US using someone else’s identity. (Patriot Ledger)
A former MBTA police officer was sentenced to six months in jail for the beating of a Roxbury woman in 2014. (Boston Herald)
A New York man is being held on $10,000 bail after he was arrested carrying a handgun without a Massachusetts license following Saturday’s “free speech” rally on Boston Common. (He had a valid New York permit.) (Boston Herald)
An investigation into the claims of two men who said they were molested by a custodian at Adams Memorial Junior High School in the 1970s prompts five more men to step forward claiming they were also molested. (Berkshire Eagle)
The parent company of the Los Angeles Times announced a shakeup of the top editors at the newspaper as revenues continue to slide. (Los Angeles Times)