I’m sure by now many have been waiting to hear my account of what happened last night in Boston, while Bush was holding a fundraiser.
As you might know, I live near Boston, and when I found out Bush was going to be in the city, I was very excited. I had planned with a few friends of mine (most of them I met through Free Republic) to go down to show our support for President Bush.
I had a wooden stick with some Bush-Cheney ’04 rally signs secured to it, and an “I Blog For Bush” sign with a “Massachusetts is Bush Country” sign on the reverse side.
My brother Aaron and I arrived at the intersection of Arlington and Boylston Streets around 5:15pm. The anti-Bush crowd was out in full force. They weren’t necessarily Kerry fans, but they included environmental activists, union workers, anti-war protesters, and plenty of other interesting types.
Aaron and I joined up with our group of friends who were already there. There was about nine of us. Now, keep in mind, we were not the only Bush supporters there – there was in fact a sizeable number of College Republicans there, who we had been with but got separated from, as Tyler from Pardon My English, who was part of my group notes:
The local group of FReepers got separated from the main group of Bush supporters. The main group included about 45-60 College Republicans (hailing from Emerson, Emmanuel, Tuft’s, Harvard (I was shocked, too), Boston University, and Boston College). The FReepers, all 9 of us, were on the other side of a wall of union members. The union members let their true colors shine when they started making gay jokes. Yes…the people who are protesting Bush, who opposes gay marriage, were making gay jokes. It didn’t end with gay jokes, they also tossed out the incest, Oedipal incest, and pedophilic jokes. They were classy people.
I started out close to the barricades completely surrounded by union workers and other anti-Bush protesters who were clearly not thrilled by my presence. I am not exaggerating when I tell you, at times, it did not feel safe. Between anti-Bush protesters who were attacking us verbally, to those who made many attempts to block or steal my sign, they did everything they could to make us feel unwelcome.
My response was consistent throughout the night. When someone tried to grab at my sign, or tell me to leave, I would tell them “I support your freedom of speech, please support mine.” The usual response involved a barrage of profanities and threats of physical violence. But we gave our chants and were not deterred.
Fellow FReeper, known as Little Bill, had this to say (edited for clarity):
At first things went well chants of “Four More Years” met by “No More Years”, the usual stuff. That is until a group of Iron Workers, Local 7, infiltrated the crowd and started pushing the pro Bush people away from the barrier blocking the street.
As we were standing further back, an Iron Workers Union member began taunting us. He had perched himself up on the rails of the entrance to the train stop. He stood several feet above us, looking down and screaming. Just about any insult in the book was thrown our way. I said to him, “Why don’t you stop yelling at us and come down here so we can have a conversation?”
Perhaps it wasn’t wise to engage him, but I knew he was not interested in having a discussion. He just wanted to be hateful, rude, and uncivil. I challenged him a few times to come down, but he rebuffed the offer.
My group stood together as we cheered for President Bush and took on the verbal abuse from the union workers who were surrounding us.
It was around this time that the “brawl” (which one commenter on Blogs For Bush has dubbed “The Margolis Incident”) occurred:
The scuffle started when union members, specifically the steelworkers, jumped down from the ledge they were standing on and attacked members of the pro-Bush crowd. Those members of the pro-Bush crowd that got the brunt of the attack were Aaron, Matt, and FReeper James; but everyone in the immediate area got a bit of it. The tentative list of injuries includes a bruised knee, sprained (or at least hurt) wrist, scrapes to the face, broken glasses, and a scraped hand (ok, that last one isn’t as impressive) – we’ll have to see what shows up in the morning.
It all happened very fast – but at the same time, seemed to happen in slow motion. I remember being with everyone cheering for Bush, and the union worker had been engaging us, and Aaron had also exchanged some words with him, then the guy just jumped down and charged at Aaron. He took a swing at him (missing his face by a hair – knocking off his glasses) and then everything just exploded. I went right for that guy and jumped at him, getting a few punches in before I got tackled (presumably by another union worker), and got thrown to the ground. I ended up getting my face slammed down and held to the ground. I believe someone got him off of me and I got back up as the altercation was broken up.
We were not broken up by the Boston Police Department. However, after being consulted with medics and being accosted by members of the Lawyers’ Guild, the police did show up and from that point on we had their protection.
In the end, James got his glasses smashed; Aaron took a punch or two, I got a scrape on my face and my knee – we all got roughed up a bit. In the end, it got broken up before anyone got really hurt. So to clear things up – I was not “beat up,” we are all okay and we stood our ground after things calmed down. We did not retreat, we responded with stronger chants in support of Bush. All in all, I had a great time.
I will postpone my account of the rest of the evening – Tyler covered it pretty well in his post, and I’m sure this weekend I’ll be able to get into the evening as a whole on my personal blog. I will tell you now that the arguments of the Left were nothing more than constant cursing, personal attacks, and accusations against us of being a rich trust-fund babies, amongst other things.
I would like to say that I think it is horribly sad that anyone would resort to violence because they disagree with someone. I came to the event as a Bush supporter wanting to express that support. It is horrifically un-American to threaten, intimidate and assault another person because of who or what they support. I will always stand up for what I believe in – if I risk getting hurt then so be it. I wholeheartedly believe that George W. Bush is the only choice for leading this country down the right path.
I did fear for my safety – but I can’t understand why I should have felt that way. It is clear that the mindset of the anti-Bush crowd is not one of tolerance, diversity, peace or non-violence.
I go into the city of Boston often, and I wear my Bush-Cheney ’04 button proudly. I will continue to do so. The intolerance of others only reaffirms my beliefs. I learned a lot from this experience, and it’s helped me refocus my goals – and I understand now more than ever just how important it is for Bush to be reelected. After I post this, I will donate $104 to the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign. I urge anyone else who can donate to the campaign to do so as well.
- The Boston Herald was the first newspaper to report on the brawl. Read the story here.
- Yes, the story was linked on Drudge.
- And yes, many of you found out about this on The Rush Limbaugh Show. Here is the audio of Rush acknowledging the brawl.
- On Rush’s website, read about it
- Here’s a thread on Free Republic about the brawl.
Cross posted at Blogs for Bush.