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Heightened security in Boston for ‘pro-straight parade’

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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2020 Election

Trump supporter accused of voter fraud invited to apply for a pardon — in gratitude for proving ‘how hard voter fraud is’

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On Wednesday, writing on Twitter, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman invited a Trump supporter accused of voter fraud to apply for a pardon if convicted — in thanks for showing Pennsylvania voters, and Republicans around the country, how difficult it is to commit voter fraud.

The case centers on a man in Forty Fort, Luzerne County, who allegedly filled out an absentee ballot application for his deceased mother with the intention of casting a second ballot for President Donald Trump, in her name. He faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

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2020 Election

Georgia GOP secretary of state: Trump ‘threw my family under the bus’ even though we voted for him

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Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state in Georgia, has written an angry editorial for USA Today in which he details the harassment he and his family have been subjected to because he followed the law and certified President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

Raffensperger starts out his editorial by praising the Peach State for holding a free and fair election under difficult circumstances stemming from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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‘The election wasn’t stolen — he blew it’: Michigan Republican says Trump ‘did everything possible to lose’

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President Donald Trump insists the election was stolen from him in Michigan, but Republicans there haven't been willing to indulge his fantasy.

The president has zeroed in on the state, which he narrowly won in 2016, in his effort to overturn his election loss to Joe Biden by claiming widespread fraud and pressuring legislators to overrule the will of the voters, but few Republicans are buying in, reported Politico.

“We must not attempt to exercise power we simply don’t have,” said Aaron Van Langevelde, who sits on Michigan’s board of state canvassers, which was statutorily obligated to certify the election win by Joe Biden. “As John Adams once said, 'We are a government of laws, not men.' This board needs to adhere to that principle here today. This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and comply with our legal duty to certify this election.”

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