Thousands of protesters fought the message of the Straight Pride parade in Boston this weekend. Now 36 of those protesters will appear today in court, and the cops who pepper-sprayed the crowd want hefty prosecutions.
Media reports indicate fewer than 200 people participated Saturday in the Straight Pride parade. As it turns out, the two-minute parade included more propaganda for President Trump’s reelection campaign than anything else.
One float had giant letters promoting “TRUMP 2020” with smaller placards focused more on the border wall than heterosexuality. Octagon-shaped signs included messages like “Secure America’s Borders.” The other side had large letters forming the words “BUILD THE WALL.”
And while a couple parade participants carried signage with a pink-and-blue palette and the words “It’s Great to Be Straight,” there were more flags with Trump’s name and hats reading “Make America Great Again.”
That’s different messaging than advertised by organizers Super Happy Fun America.
“We will educate the public about straight issues and foster unity and respect by having a parade,” Mark Sahady, vice president of Super Happy Fun America, said ahead of the event.
Police protected the few paradegoers while wearing riot gear. Video shows police pepper-spraying the crowd and pushing protesters to the ground.
Boston police say four officers suffered minor injuries over the course of the day. The response by officers is under internal review.
The head of Boston’s police union said it’s important that protesters be held accountable. “They should all be prosecuted,” Boston Police Patrolmen’s Union Chief Michael Leary told the Boston Herald. “We all just do our jobs and hope the courts do their jobs.”
Those arrested will have their first court appearances today, according to MassLive.com.
City leaders, meanwhile, said they want to disassociate themselves from the Straight Pride event completely.
“As I've said, a 'Straight Pride' Parade won't overshadow the tremendous role Boston plays in the national movement for equality,” Mayor Martin Walsh wrote on Twitter.
“We will continue to be a leader in the fight for civil rights.”