Politics

Demonstrators clash in dueling Copley Square protests

At least three counter demonstrations were planned in response to a "Super Happy Fun America" rally Sunday afternoon.

A protester with Super Happy Fun America, a group with ties to the far right, exchanged words with a counter protester on the other side of the barricade at Copley Square. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Related Links

Demonstrators flocked to Copley Square in Boston on Sunday afternoon for dueling political protests, which at times grew hostile and intense.

One of the events, dubbed a “Peaceful Protest Against Democrat Violence,” was hosted by “Super Happy Fun America,” which also organized the controversial “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston last year.

Slated from noon to 2 p.m., the event called on “Democrats to fully renounce the violent actions of their supporters,” according to the Facebook page.

Organizers added that their rally would also include featured speaker, Rayla Campbell, a Randolph Republican who’s mounting a write-in campaign on the November ballot against Democrat Rep. Ayanna Pressley in the 7th district. 

We will peacefully demonstrate with speeches and patriotic banners in order to send a message that our group will not be intimidated into silence by the leftist mob,” organizers wrote on Facebook. 

At least three counter protests were scheduled in response to SHFA’s event. 

“The Freedom Fighter Coalition” took to Instagram and urged protesters to “grab anything that makes noise, call a friend and come to Copley Square.” 

“We must not allow racists [to] come to our city to spew negativity and hatred,” the group wrote. 

Another group entitled “Solidarity Against Hate – Boston” set up a “Kick Fascists Out of Boston” demonstration from 11:30 to 3 p.m. 

Fascism is no match for a united people,” organizers wrote on a Facebook page for the event. “Boston is the people’s city and no place for fascists.” 

Around the same time, Refuse fascism new england also joined the counter-protest crowd. 

Advertisement:

“‘Super Happy Fascist America’ is one of the white supremacist MAGA-thug groups spawned by this regime,” the group wrote in a call to action on Facebook. “As part of mobilizing people to drive Trump/Pence from power, we [are] joining with others to counter this fascist rally.”

Photos from the scene showed dozens of protesters supporting President Donald Trump separated from hundreds of counter-protesters by metal barricades. Donning helmets and neon vests, Boston police officers kept blockades around Copley Square in an effort to keep opposing protests separated while state police blocked highway entrances.

Videos showed a person with a transgender pride flag being dragged across the ground outside the Boston Public Library, where SHFA protesters were holding their rally. In the background, someone could be heard yelling “get him out of here.”

Other footage showed Trump signs and flags being set ablaze, and counter protesters clashing with police after pulling the metal barriers away from Trump supporters. 

As of Sunday night, police have not provided information on any possible arrests.

More photos from the dueling protests:

A counter protester squeaked a small rubber pig in a Boston police officer’s face as he and other members of the BPD formed a line to allow members of a right wing group, Super Happy Fun America, to exit a rally they called “Peaceful Protest Against Democrat Violence” at Copley Square. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe

 

 

 

 

A protester with SHFA, a group with ties to the far right, exchanged words with a counter protester on the other side of the barricade at Copley Square. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe

Advertisement:

 

 

 

A Make America Great Again hat engulfed in flames burns on the ground after counter protesters lit it on fire in front of the barricade where SHFA protestors rallied. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe

 

A counter protester gestured as she pushed back against members of the Boston Police Department. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe

A protester with SHFA waved a Trump flag toward counter protesters on the other side of the barricade at Copley Square. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe

A counter protester sprays lighter fluid on a burning effigy of President Donald Trump in front of the barricade. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe

A protester with SHFA pointed at counter protesters on the other side of the barricade at Copley Square. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Boston police took down a protester as a chaotic scene broke out across the street. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe

A member of the BPD runs after a counter protester who hit him as chaos broke out across the street from the SHFA rally. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe

A counter protester drops to his knees after setting an effigy of President Donald Trump on fire. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe

Advertisement:

Members of SFHA wave flags in protest at Copley Square. Joseph Prezioso / AFP via Getty Images

Get Boston.com's browser alerts:

Enable breaking news notifications straight to your internet browser.

Jump To Comments

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com