Boston did not take Tina Fey’s advice to stay home and eat sheetcake during a free speech rally that was planned as a kind of followup to Unite the Right in Charlottesville. Instead, tens of thousands of protestors arrived to counter the planned demonstration at the Boston Common. But it seems that there wasn’t much at the Commons to resist—some of the high-profile speakers slated for the event had dropped out after the Charlottesville backlash, and reports indicate that not only was attendance was paltry, the event was wrapping up by 1PM. But by that time #BostonResist had become about far more than the free speech rally itself.
The protestors have all kinds of grievances to address besides the likes of Proud Boys leader Gavin McInnes and white supremacist Tim “Baked Alaska” Gionet, two of the speakers on the bill who dropped out earlier this week. At this point the protest is directed as much, if not more, at President Trump’s response to the Charlottesville tragedy, in which he weakly denounced white supremacy and even stuck up for the Nazis, Klansmen, and pro-Confederacy advocates who planned and attended Unite the Right, saying there were “very fine people” on both sides. It seems #BostonResist has snowballed into a demonstration against the very ideas of racism and fascism and the role they have in American culture and discourse.