(Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images)
Opinion editorial by WBZ NewsRadio political analyst Jon Keller
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — I couldn’t agree more with Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell, who’s calling for a city review of its permitting process for political demonstrations, especially, she writes, “with respect to organizations that pretend to march under the guise of free speech but instead are marching to promote hate, racism and bigotry, and thus incite violence.”
She’s referring to the handful of right-wing trolls who cost Boston taxpayers thousands of dollars last weekend with their phony “straight pride” march. Most of that money went to pay for the huge police presence that kept the trolls safe from a handful of counter-protestors who were spoiling for a fight.
If you hop onto YouTube or Twitter, you will see plenty of videos showing how a few jerks repeatedly and obscenely baited the cops, some of them posted by the jerks themselves.
Unfortunately, it also looks like a few cops took the bait and used excessive force. That stuff deserves to be investigated and, if the facts warrant it, punished.
Once upon a time, shutting down parts of the city for what could reasonably expected to be peaceful gatherings may have made some sense.
Now, the mounting evidence that these have become fight club parties for extremists of the right and left calls for a different approach.
There is no reason why groups that want to march shouldn’t have to defray some of the public costs now associated with it.
Failing that, there could be a designated protest area, easily secured, where anyone can go and speak.
But I bet most taxpayers are sick of subsidizing costly parties for the foolish and violent.
And I’m pretty sure the cops are sick of policing them too.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday mornings at :55 minutes past the hour. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.
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