On Friday, a rally for free speech in Boston was attacked by Antifa radicals. While the police repeatedly intervened, Antifa subjected them to the same verbal abuse and physical attacks as the marchers.
Boston police taking down Antifa members who keep rushing them. pic.twitter.com/W8QJK89QUS
— The Rouser (@RouserNews) August 19, 2017
The concept of free speech continues to perplex many Americans. Some conservatives felt the need to defend Milo Yiannpolous and his content in order to defend his right to free speech at Berkeley (Although some supported his right to speak, while condemning his views). Other conservatives have demonstrated a disturbing willingness to silence opposing voices on the left. At the same time, progressives increasingly attack the first amendment, suggesting that the rise of the alt-right necessitates new restrictions. Antifa goes a step further by promoting the idea that speech can be violence. This is especially disturbing since Antifa radicals have made clear that they will respond to this “violence” with violence of their own.
Reactions to the Boston Rally
In this case, progressives mistakenly identified the free speech rally as an alt-right event like Charlottesville. Multiple media outlets supported this conclusion shamelessly, demonizing a diverse group of free speech advocates, libertarians, and Trump supporters. More importantly, it forced Republican politicians to carefully weigh whether or not they should defend the march. While some called upon the president to condemn the march in Boston, as he condemned the events in Charlottesville, Trump refused to do so. Instead, Trump praised the marchers and condemned the Antifa radicals who attacked them.