Police in Boston were gearing up for possible clashes Saturday between “Straight Pride Parade” demonstrators supportive of President Donald Trump and counter-protesters who accuse them of being homophobic and extremist.
A group calling itself Super Happy Fun America has organized the controversial parade in response to the hugely popular gay pride parades that take place in US cities every year.
Critics say organizers are white-supremacists whose intent is to bait members of the LGBT community in one of America’s most liberal cities, and have arranged demonstrations to oppose it.
“There are no racists in our group. You have to come to one of our meetings: it’s like the United Nations,” president John Hugo told AFP, defending the parade.
The demonstrations come as tensions simmer between leftists and white nationalists in the United States.
Two weeks ago, a far-right rally and counter-demonstration by anti-fascist protestors in the city of Portland passed with no major incident amid a heavy police presence.
Super Happy Fun America’s website says Saturday’s march is to “spread awareness of issues impacting straights,” describing heterosexuals as “an oppressed majority” in Massachusetts, the first US state to legalize same-sex marriage.
But the parade will have a clear political slant too, with participants due to walk alongside pro-Trump floats. The group’s website displays a doctored photo of Trump holding a sign saying #GreatToBeStraight.
Prominent members of America’s far-right movement, known as the “alt-right,” are scheduled to speak, including former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who has been banned from several social media sites.
Enrique Tarrio, a member of the all-male “Proud Boys” organization, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is also due to attend.
Some 1,200 people are planning to join the parade, which starts at noon (1600 GMT) in Copley Square and ends at Boston City Hall around a mile and a half (2.4 kilometers) away, according to a Facebook group.
Police will cordon off the area and have said they will deploy uniformed and undercover officers along the route.
Several anti-Trump organizations and gay rights supporters have said they will try to block the parade. At least two counter-protests are planned, the first starting at 9:00 am.
“We are certainly not going to start any violence but we will defend ourselves if we have to,” said Hugo, 56.
A “Straight Pride” held last Saturday in Modesto, California attracted only a few dozen people and about 250 counter-protesters, according to local newspaper The Modesto Bee.
Former Trump pal Donny Deutsch explains the president’s gamble on impeachment
MSNBC's Donny Deutsch has a theory about his old pal President Donald Trump and his latest strategy to wriggle out of trouble.
The "Morning Joe" contributor suspects the president, whom he used to know from their days in New York City, believes impeachment is inevitable, but he's confident that Republican senators won't remove him from office.
"Rev, I'm seeing a little bit of a different show here," Deutsch told the Rev. Al Sharpton. "You and I know Trump pretty well, or used to know Trump pretty well. I don't think there's any chance Mick Mulvaney went out there on his own."
Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, admitted during a press briefing that he held up congressionally approved aid to Ukraine in an effort to press the country to investigate a conspiracy theory about Democrats and the 2016 election.
Mick Mulvaney is Trump’s new fall guy on corruption — and Republicans just play along
It's getting increasingly more difficult to keep track of all the new impeachable acts President Trump commits every day. And perhaps even more difficult to imagine the most outrageous thing he can do that the Republican Party would still defend.
This article first appeared in Salon.
It took almost two weeks, but the White House has finally admitting what everyone knew from day one: Trump demanded a quid pro quo from the Ukrainian government before releasing military aid authorized by Congress. Republicans have been denying the obvious, remaining willfully blind to a brazen scheme. That suddenly seems quaint, now that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has confessed on live television that there was a quid pro quo.
The week Donald Trump’s presidency crashed and burned — and Republicans noticed
It feels as though every week during the Trump administration is a year and every year a decade. Every day there is a crisis or an outrage or a revelation that takes your breath away. But the underlying dynamics always seem to be the same no matter what. The press reports the story, the Democrats get outraged, the pundits analyze it, the president rages and then Fox and the Republicans all line up like a bunch of robots and salute smartly. Then we reset until the next crisis, outrage or revelation. It's an exhausting cycle that never seems to get us anywhere and it's bred a fatalistic response in many of us: "Nothing matters."