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A Tale Of Two Rallies: Back The Blue Rally

Kristen Arute, Hingham Current Staff; August 17, 2020; Updated: August 18, 2020

Hingham Current File Video / Kristen Arute

On Sunday, August 16th, two rallies were held in Hingham. America Backs The Blue organized a rally at the Shipyard, and, in response, a Black Lives Matter group from Scituate organized one at the gazebo in Hingham Harbor. This is the third official rally for both groups over the past two months; however, Black Lives Matter has also held counterprotests at each of the three Back The Blue rallies.

 

Back in June, the Hingham Unity Council planned a candlelight vigil for Black Lives Matter at St. John's Episcopal Church in Hingham Square in response to George Flloyd's death. Hingham residents Chrissy Roberts and Melissa B. Smith helped with the event and organized the distribution of Black Lives Matter lawn signs.

The first "Back the Blue" rally that was held in Hingham was prompted by the joint decision between the Board of Selectmen and the chiefs of the police and fire departments to remove the Thin Blue Line Flag from the back of a Hingham fire engine. Since then, Hingham has become the focus of much attention by both groups. Back The Blue supporters say that their rallies are in support of law enforcement and not in any way a response to Black Lives Matter. "All the people you see here, they're all coming out for the same thing," said J.J. McGrath, president of the Blue Knights chapter in Brockton, "to show support for the police and to try to correct the false narrative that police are racist."

The rally, which was held on the future site of the Public Safety facility, ended on a sour note. A counterprotestor walked through the America Backs The Blue crowd and allegedly hit the bullhorn the organizer was using striking him in the face and causing him to sustain a cut on his cheek. Police were on site, and the assailant was allowed to leave after certain information was obtained from her. The organizer intends to press charges.

Kristen Arute can be reached at kristen@hinghamcurrent.com.