Protesters Flood Streets, and Trump Offers a Measure of Praise

One monument supporter, wearing a red “Make America Great Again” cap, declined to give his real name but identified himself as Wiggz, a 32-year-old Dallas resident.

“They can call it an anti-white-supremacist rally all they want,” he said. “I don’t believe it is. I think it’s an anti-Trump rally. And that’s why I’m here. I’m a Trump supporter, and I’m not a white supremacist at all.”

Before the Dallas protests began, several men and women armed with high-powered rifles and dressed in military fatigues assembled near a rally site. A representative of the group, called the Texas Elite III%, said they planned to provide security at the rally and were not affiliated with either side.

“With Charlottesville and how things went down there, and what we’ve heard so far intel-wise, we are expecting possible problems,” said the representative, who declined to give her real name and identified herself as Momma Doc.

The Boston authorities seemed to face nothing of that sort on Saturday, but they cleared the Common of vendors and their carts and shut down the Swan Boats, a nearby tourist attraction.

Tensions here had been rising all week. On Monday night, a teenager threw a rock at the New England Holocaust Memorial, shattering the glass; passers-by quickly tackled the youth before the police arrived.

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But elsewhere in the country, officials were moving to defuse anger that surrounded the revived debate about Confederate monuments.

Duke University announced early Saturday that it had removed a recently vandalized statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee from the entrance to its campus chapel in Durham, N.C.

“I took this course of action to protect Duke Chapel, to ensure the vital safety of students and community members who worship there, and above all to express the deep and abiding values of our university,” Vincent E. Price, the university’s president, said in an email to students, employees and alumni.

Dr. Price said the statue would be “preserved so that students can study Duke’s complex past and take part in a more inclusive future.”


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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/us/demonstration-race-free-speech-boston-charlottesville.html

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