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…)
Two of our protesters were arrested, and I moved away from the crowd to show solidarity with them and follow as they were arrested. After that, I moved back into the crowd, and a Tea Partier knocked the wig off my head. I picked it up said to him “Why do you think it’s okay to knock my wig off my head?”. He replied “Oh, my hand slipped”.
I was going to continue talking to him but then the officer in the picture approached me and said “okay, take your shit and get out of here”, shoving me back. I said to him “Don’t shove me.” He then said “Don’t shove you!?” and then choked me, for a short period of time. My comrades reacted pretty quick, taking those pictures, getting his badge number, etc. He was rough with several other people, grabbing one of my comrades’ phone out of his hand when he tried to take a picture etc.
There is never—NEVER!—an excuse for a police officer—the people we rely upon to protect our rights and our physical selves—to choke an unarmed, peaceful protester. We have a right to petition our government for a redress of our grievances. That is so fucking important that James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution”, wrote it into the very first Amendment to the Constitution in our Bill of Rights. If a protester wants to jump up and down, wave his arms, and yell as loud as he can in a public space, he jolly-fucking-well has that right. Any person who attempts to abridge that right is acting in direct violation of the rights afforded to us by our Constitution and is, thus, acting in an entirely anti-American manner. This type of violent stifling of free speech is what I would expect from Saudi Arabia or Iran. This is not what I would expect from Boston, Massachusetts, the birthplace of the American revolutionary ideal. This man, although his uniform is blue, is a Red Coat. The last time the Red Coats were in Boston we started a war to gain our independence and liberty. We’ve lost our independence, we’ve lost our liberty, and the Red Coats are surrounding us in every American city with their muskets loaded and drawn. What are you going to do??