On Wednesday April 29, protesters gathered at Schroeder Plaza, next to the Boston Police Headquarters, to rally against police violence and show solidarity with protesters in Baltimore. It was organized by Mass Action Against Police Brutality (the same group that organized the last action I attended).
The event started with speeches from the organizers and families that have lost relatives to police violences. Milania Batista, who also spoke at the last event, and Wayne Dozier told their stories to the assembled crowd.
Several of the local television stations, both major papers and the wire services all sent reporters to cover the event. It's the most media I can remember attending an event this size in Boston and I think it's safe to say that the unrest in Baltimore is the reason. Like it or not, a couple nights of property destruction and rock throwing is what it took to get the attention of the national media to the poverty and despair in American cities.
After about thirty minutes of speakers the march began, heading up Tremont StreetI was up front near the speakers, I hadn't realized how many people filled the small park. It looked like there were around a thousand people.
Black and hispanic women killed by the police get less attention than they're male counterparts. I only saw a the names of a few women on the signs, it's outrageous how the women get ignored. Two weeks ago a judge dismissed charges against the off-duty cop who murdered Rekia Boyd and there were no national protests. The Boyd judicial decision is just as offensive and as big a miscarriage of justice as Trayvon Martin but received almost none of the national attention.
I hadn't heard of Shelly Marie Frey before reading from a protester's sign. All I could find was a contemporaneous news report that reads like just like the other officer involved shooting accusations. She was suspected of shoplifting from Walmart and was followed to the parking lot by an off-duty police officer. After securing her two children in the car there was a confrontation with the officer of some kind and Frey was shot twice. The officer said he feared for his life.
The march continued on Tremont Street and then down Mass. Ave until Shawmut Ave and ending in Dudley Square.
The marchers were escorted through the streets by about fifty police officers on bikes who blocked of traffic and cleared intersections ahead of protesters getting there. I did not see any confrontations between protesters and police, there were no arrests.
The event ended with a brief rally in the small park in Dudley Square across from the police station. By the time the crowd arrived at the square it was about half it's original size.