A large group of people carrying flags and shields marched along downtown Boston’s Freedom Trail Saturday, according to the Boston Police Department – and video footage of the group obtained by CNN shows the flags bearing the symbol of the White nationalist Patriot Front group.
Police received a call at 12:30 p.m. that around 100 people were protesting, walking on Congress Street toward the Old State House and City Hall Plaza, BPD Officer Kim Tavares told CNN. No arrests were made, nor was their route known, Tavares said. The group eventually boarded a train and departed from the scene, the officer added.
Social media video posted online shows dozens of individuals clutching shields and at least two different flags, including Patriot Front flags and upside-down US flags. Last month, a group believed to be affiliated with the Patriot Front was arrested after authorities said they planned to riot at a Pride event in Idaho.
In a letter posted on Facebook, City Councilor Ed Flynn lamented the Patriot Front’s repeated presence at events in Boston during the past year.
“It is wholly repugnant to once again read reports, and see videos on social media, about dozens of neo-Nazis making another brazen public display with their hateful ideology,” Flynn said. “Although all people of goodwill and decency are both angered and extremely disturbed by the increased activity we continue to witness from neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups locally, we can no longer say that we’re surprised with what we continue to see across the country, unfortunately.”
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu echoed the sentiment, writing on Twitter that “the disgusting hate of white supremacists has no place here,” especially “when so many of our rights are under attack, we will not normalize intimidation by bigots.”
“As we mark Boston’s legacy as the cradle of liberty, we celebrate the continued fight to expand those liberties for all,” the mayor added.
Robert Trestan, the director for the Anti-Defamation League New England, said on Twitter the “Patriot Front marching alongside the freedom trail on 4th of July holiday weekend is an insult to all who fought for freedom, equality, justice.”