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Man who sued Marty Walsh over criticism of post-Charlottesville rally on the Common lost his state case so now he's suing in federal court

A North Adams man who claims he lost his job because of Marty Walsh's statements urging rightwingers not hold a rally on the Common days after other rightwingers went on a violent rampage in Charlottesville, VA in 2017 had his $100-million libel case thrown out in state court. Now he's trying again in federal court.

In his self-filed suit, filed this time in US District Court in Boston against both Walsh and the city of Boston, Brandon Navom alleges that Walsh's pre-rally comments urging racists to stay out of Boston whipped Bostonians into a hateful frenzy that led to him losing his IT job.

Walsh did not mention Navom by name in any of his comments, and Navom says he never actually showed up at the small rally at the Parkman Bandstand, but he was outed as a possible speaker by local antifa activists.

Three months after the minuscule rally at the bandstand, where a tiny band of rightwingers were surrounded by a heavy cordon of police and thousands of counter protesters. Navom sued Walsh in Berkshire County Superior Court. Walsh's attorney moved to have the case dismissed because that court doesn't normally hear cases involving Boston. A judge there then transferred the case to Middlesex Superior Court, which normally doesn't hear cases involving Boston, either, but at least is closer.

In October, 2018, a judge there dismissed the case, ruling Walsh's statements about how rightwingers should stay out of Boston were protected speech.

Navom appealed. Last fall, the Massachusetts Appeals Court declined to overturn the ruling.

In his federal complaint, Navom says the group he was involved with has no connection with the Charlottesville tiki-torchers and were only interested in furthering "rational discourse in our society" and that it was just an unfortunate coincidence the Boston rally was scheduled a week after one of the Charlottesville Nazis murdered a woman by driving his car into her.

Navom, who said he had a good reputation as an IT worker in Boston before the event, charged that Walsh libeled him by accusing Common organizers of inviting "White supremacist and/or members of hate groups" to Boston when, goodness, nothing could be further from the truth. And certainly neither he nor any of the other organizers were themselves white supremacists and/or members of hate groups, he continues.

He charges that Walsh knew the organizers were just good people out to encourage discourse and that he only spewed his own hate "purely out of malice and political gain," specifically because he was running for re-election that year.

And all of City Hall is to blame as well, Navom's complaint continues, because the city "lacked any mechanism to force Walsh to refrain from commenting publicly about issues that had no connection to the city and then falsely link them to the city to generate publicity in an election year."

Navom charges that virtually no one in Boston knew about his group's rally before the mayor started fulminating about it (ed. note: come on now) and that therefore the dangerous conditions were created by the mayor, not him and the other organizers.

Navom, who says he was fired the day after the mayor first began complaining about the proposed rally, and who says he continues to suffer from being falsely accused of being a white supremacist, says he is owed $100 million in general damages, along with whatever amounts a jury would levy for punitive and special damages.

The city has yet to file its answer to the lawsuit. However, in its answer to Navom's Massachusetts Appeals Court brief, the city said that, in fact, at least one Charlottesville organizer had been invited to speak on the Common by organizers of that rally, in addition to a guy who gained notoriety for confronting protesters with a stick in California, another who is "a proponent of date rape and an advocate of sexual violence" and, of course, "darling of the far right" Shiva Ayaddurai, who in fact did appear.

But in any case, the city continued, there was a more fundamental flaw with Navom's libel assertion: "Navom’s defamation claim fails because Mayor Walsh’s statements amount to nothing more than opinions. Opinions are protected by the First Amendment and are not actionable as a matter of law. "

Navom's federal complaint (1.4M PDF).
Boston's answer to his appeals-court argument (104k PDF).

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Comments

I don't really have time to get past the first few pages of text in his legal filing to see all of the supposed facts in the case but uhh, this guy was allegedly? involved? or whatever with the so called "Free Speech Rally" and is mad that someone said something? Almost like that rally wasn't really about free speech, huh?

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Sounds like this gentleman is applying the Phelps Family legal strategy and trying to hit it big.

The Proud Boys are attempting to fund themselves using the same strategies, such as suing for defamation whenever any organization brands them a hate group.

I have to wonder if it was his connections to these groups or things he said/did in the workplace or elsewhere that lead to his ouster as he isn't suing his employer for wrongful termination. I haven't heard of anyone who has been sacked solely because they were singled out by some random anti fascists (although it is possible) and his disinterest in recouping damages from his former employer tends to support that.

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He worked as a consultant for an IT firm. Also, if I remember correctly from LinkedIn, he was recently hired. So if it was in his probation period, they may have declined to make him a permanent hire.

Massachusetts is an employee-at-will state and an employer can fire any employee at any time for any reason — or even for no reason at all. So the employer may have decided that they did not want the face of their company to be a Nazi.

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Voting closed 55

Walsh was correct. The organizers were nazis. On the Free Speech rally bill (linked by Adam above) along with Navom were:

- Gavin McInnes, the publicly-admitted white nationalist founder of the white supremacist Proud Boys.

- Augustus Sol Invictus who, according to SPLC “slaughtered a goat and drank its blood as part of a pagan ritual”, and denies the Holocaust saying “[d]o I believe that 6 million Jews were killed by evil Hitler? Is that what you're asking?...Okay, then I am still waiting to see those facts." [He sounds nice.]

- Kyle Chapman, another self-proclaimed white supremacist who plead to a felony for violently attacking anti-fascist protesters with a baton in San Francisco.

- Joe Biggs, a Proud Boys organizer. And..

- Cassandra Fairbanks, an alt-white journalist who, along with male-supremacist Mike Cernovich, flashed a white power hand gesture at a White House photo op.

I don’t have any more information about Navom’s actual views, but that would be some bad luck that the 5 other named speakers at this rally are documented white supremcists and his good name gets dragged through the nazi mud.

So crazy how something like that would happen to poor Brandon.

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Enrique Tarrio leads the Proud Boys? Seriously, I do not get it.

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It reminds me of the Latino Customs and Border Patrol agent and Latino military service members who voted for Trump and then face deportation, job loss, and loss of benefits when it turns out their immigration and documentation is not on point.

There’s a certain amount of denial (maybe self hate?) that the white supremacists don’t see them as “other” and they are one of the “good ones” and are a part of the in group. Guess what? Psyche! Thanks for your service, but go back to where you came from.

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Gavin McInnes quit when things got real.
He only masturbates once a month.
He's taken the oath: "I'm a proud Western chauvinist, I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world". Although Enrique identifies as Afro-Cuban, I'm pretty sure he thinks he's White not Latino.

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Certainly not $100 million in his lifetime, no?

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I am an IT guy, and I hope to make $100 million in my lifetime. This is because I hope to live 1000 years.

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Not mocking his unfortunate passing, I just wanted to reference Never Tear Us Apart.

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Alt righters are deluded. This guy thinks he’s worth 100 million and that Donald “400 million in debt” Trump is a billionaire.

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Donald “400 million in debt” Trump

According to Forbes:

Donald Trump Has At Least $1 Billion In Debt, More Than Twice The Amount He Suggested

So, he's a negative-billionaire.

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So where did he work? I don't want to read his massive complaint.

Honest question: For even trying this bs, isn't his better argument against his employer for firing him?

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But based on the company he keeps, he'd be very offended by being compared to a Jewish woman.

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This guy should team up with the circumcision Harvard guy. They seem like they'd be good friends.

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...he sure does get around.

(North Adams is a kinda messed up place, folks...nothing that comes out of there would surprise me)

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Ironically, the Florida of MA.

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We've been to the Florida of Massachusetts, even have the refrigerator magnet to prove it, so I know Florida, and North Adams is no Florida.

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But they are next to each other! Thanks to NASC for teaching me Western MA geography among a few other things.

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Even though Florida and North Adams are pretty darned close.

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Ha! Ha! Ha! Two people showed up in Dallas for his Straight Pride event?

Soraya Colli, treasurer of the Dallas Stonewall Democrats, described the scene in front of City Hall later in the afternoon. “The 2 SHFA organizers were hilariously outnumbered by pro-LGBT & anti-fascist protestors - and about a dozen police. Much later, they were joined by a member of the Dallas Proud Boys and a woman named Princess Vanna who claims she converted from lesbianism after finding God,” she wrote on Twitter.

https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/heres-what-happened-when-straight-pr...

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How are all these people finding God all the time, and how does God keep getting lost?

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which is a very cool art museum. What is "messed up" about the town?

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...I'm guessing, if in fact you have ever actually been there, you never went anywhere except directly to MassMoca and then left immediately afterward, with maybe a stop at Publix. Had you gotten out of that little cabbage patch, you'd know what I'm talking about. It is like many another small New England town that has lost its industry decades ago and not made the jump to something better, with the added disadvantage that it's much more isolated than most towns that are in a similar situation. Over the years, those who can leave, and those who can't...well. Next time you're in town for an opening, drive around, look around, you'll get the idea.

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Voting closed 46

and I think the museum has expanded and gobbled up a little more of the town since then.

What is Publix? (perhaps something that has opened since I was last in the area?)

I think I either continued west to Williamstown or back up the hairpin turn to stay at the Whitcomb Summit motel (which I hope is still operating).

Natural Bridge State Park is also well worth a stop.

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Voting closed 40

If you have even the slightest interest in natural history, it's worth the trip. The linked website has a photo of the mill dam, which is probably the least-interesting feature of the place. There are tracks left by glaciers, deep, narrow, and tortuous canyons cut into the marble by flowing water, and a bridge over the canyon. Very scenic, as well. Not far from the Hairpin Turn on Rte 2. It used to be called Marble Arch SP; not sure why they changed it.

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The closest Publix to North Adams is in Virginia.

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If Walsh never mentioned him by name, how did Walsh libel him?

The members of a certain group that some insist don’t exist? This guy might have a case that they created a situation where there was harm. Walsh, on the other hand, probably didn’t know who this guy was.

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Also not a lawyer, but I am betting that this guy believes the City of Boston has deeper pockets than a 22-year-old Twitter anon with a cartoon avatar and the word “Antifa” in his bio. Navom doesn’t want $100M; he wants the city to want to dispose of the case for like $20K (or whatever he can get) in exchange for shutting up and going away. This is like that case with CNN and that Catholic High School student; that kid sued for $275M but probably settled for significantly less.

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He gets a bunch of free press about his lawsuit and his "cause" even if the lawsuit has no merit. It's a cheap way of getting on bunch of news websites and you don't even risk going to jail.

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I had no idea that rally was scheduled and I'm a pretty dedicated news watcher on the weekdays. Me and my just arrived nephew were coming out of the Boston Common 19 after watching a movie and we saw the large group of counter-protesters up on the hill. We walked over I intended to treat him to lunch at the Earl of Sandwich but they had shut down at the Police's request.

The staff and owner of the Earl were on the picnic tables watching the speakers try to speak but the counter-protesters completely drowned them out. The Flags though. The flags were the tip off that these were the alt-right. I was amused. My nephew was afraid. I knew the alt-right were racists and white-nationalists but I also knew what had happened to groups like them in the past. Boston does not tolerate imported racists.

Does his complaint really say " he knew they were just nice people."?

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