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Councilor wants to rip mask off protesters

City Councilor Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) wants to ban mask wearing on public roads.

The ire of the soon to be former councilor is aimed at left-wing protesters. McCarthy's request for a hearing would specifically call for barring "the wearing of a mask, hood or other device to conceal any portion of the face to conceal the identity of the wearer upon or within Public Property in Boston."

McCarthy says the final draft of any proposal would specifically exempt kids wearing face-concealing masks on Halloween, clowns and mascots such as Wally the Green Monster.

The council will consider McCarthy's proposal for a hearing on the matter at its regular Wednesday meeting. The proposal would then be sent to "the appropriate committee" for consideration, which in this case likely means the Committee on Public Safety, which McCarthy will chair at least until his term ends Dec. 31. The council's meeting begins at noon in its fifth-floor chambers in City Hall.

Separately, at-large Councilor Althea Garrison has filed a resolution asking her fellow councilors to pledge their "unwavering" support not just to Boston Police, but to the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association - the police union.

In his proposal, McCarthy angrily denounces protesters from out of town who, he says, came to Boston on Aug. 31 not to protest racists, homophobes and just all around Nazis but to conceal themselves as they ran riot through the streets of Boston: "They were here to cause violence [and] they were here to attack Boston police officers, attack the city of Boston itself."

McCarthy says nine of them were charged with assaulting a police officer; his proposed measure does not mention the majority of the protesters arrested will have their charges dropped by the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, now that a Supreme Judicial Court justice has ruled judges cannot tell a DA whom to prosecute, and DA Rachael Rollins has said she feels these protesters had their First Amendment rights violated.

Wally photo source.

PDF icon McCarthy's hearing request357.65 KB
PDF icon Garrison's police resolution135.68 KB


and Althea “you’re not supposed to deep-throat the boot” Garrison, I think this will be the most entertaining band of yokels I’ve ever had the privilege of voting against in a city council race. If I was in the right district to vote against #FiveCarFlaherty, the schadenfreude might be too much to bear


Your ignorance of local government is almost laughable.



Not for long

When Flaherty is re-elected.



Heard from McCartthy pretty quickly on this: He says any final proposal to go before the council for action would exempt trick or treaters and non-political-type mask wearers. So both Wally and Keytar Bear should be OK.


How do you distinguish a political mask-wearer from a non-political mask wearer? What happens if I decide to dress up as Trump for Halloween or wear a Guy Fawkes mask on November 5th? What happens if Keytar Bear decides to play a mocking rendition of "Hail to the Chief" or, heck, "Charlie on the MTA" - does performing a political action while wearing a mask make it political? This has "unenforceable law" written all over it.

(If I were a cynical person, I'd think this was designed to get publicity and get McCarthy some supporters who will vote for him based on their dislike of leftist protestors regardless on whether or not its feasible or enforceable. But I'm sure he only has the city's best interests in mind.)


Right? What about niqabi protestors? Are they not allowed to wear religious face coverings while holding signs? If they put the signs down but stand in the vicinity of a protest, what then?

Is dazzle camouflage okay? What if I'm wearing KISS Army face paint because it's not a phase it's who I AM, MOM?

How about serving savage drag LEWKS? Is THAT "hiding" the face?

If I have a nasty cold can I wear a paper filter or should I hock all loogies directly into this guy's face? If it's -45 with windchill, to what address do I mail my broken-off extremities?


I agree with the other comment, this can get messy. Courts have shown a higher tolerance for speech and symbolic speech if it's political in nature. This flips that on its head.

Take flag burning for instance. You can't go out and set a pile of rags on fire in Downtown Boston but courts have found in favor of those who burn a flag because it is political speech.

It would be easier to remove the masks of Keytar Bear trick or treaters than it would be to remove those of protestors in the courts.


so...only political speech would be affected? Sound like the definition of a 1st Amendment infringement

I hate the damn masks. But treating someone differently due to the content of their speech? And specifically the most constitutionally protected kind of speech? Hmmmm. Very shaky ground.

When you're protesting against white nationalist hate groups who have a documented history of targeted campaigns of harassment against those they deem their enemies, protecting your identity from them is the safest option.

God willing, December 31, 2019 will also be Althea's last day, too ...


Because she's a strong, independent minded black women?. Does that threaten your fragile white male ego? get over yourself plz

"asking her fellow councilors to pledge their "unwavering" support not just to Boston Police, but to the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association"

That sounds like a strong, independent black woman to you? Sounds like a weak, delusional wack job who's been living under a rock.


If your description of her is accurate - Sounds like she's the most qualified member.

In Julia Meija and Priscilla Flint-Banks. (And -- if you're okay with checking the box on one of two categories, perhaps even stronger alternatives in Alejandra St. Guillen and David Halbert.)

In addition to requesting the city council support the BPD / union, she also submitted this to the city council:

I regret to inform you that effective immediately I, Councilor Althea Garrison, resign from the Committee on Homelessness, Mental Health, and Recovery.

I cannot in good conscience support so called "safe" injection sites in the City of Boston due to my belief that these injection sites will increase the devastating effects of drug activity in the City of Boston, much like the case of "methadone mile" in Boston.

I support the Boston Police Department's recent actions at methadone mile in order to keep Boston safe, and I believe that illegal drug actions should always be enforced by law enforcement.



Also wouldn't you also need an exemption for religious purposes?


Because, yes, there are religions in which adherents obscure part or all of the face.


Actually no, this is on books and enforced in many areas of the country.

Because a law is on the books does not make it Constitutional, The courts spend a lot of time deciding which laws are and aren't. If a law isn't challenged in court, it may still be unconstitutional.

Would submission to the surveillance state have to come at the cost of frostbite on my nose or cheeks?


No more SWAT helmets with blacked out face shields and obscured badge numbers. Let's also mandate that cops who dress up as stormtroopers have to have large badge numbers visible at all times so the scum like that one cop who was the primary instigator of the assaults on protesters can be more easily identified.

To serve and protect*

*(cops foremost, white guys in general second)


And a masked man shows up.
You are an Ahole


The point is that if you call 911 it may very well be a masked man who shows up, and he may shoot you, and that will be fine because he's a cop.

Cops should be identifiable at all times by badge number at the very least. If they're not okay with that, plenty of other places are hiring.


How's that boot taste?


...so the cops could come arrest your garbage son for fighting on the streets? I can only hope he gets taken down with Marty - boggles the mind that we hardworking taxpayers have to pay some zero like Steve Jr over $100k for his 'services' to the city. What a city.

Cops can go about their business with their identities and badges public facing as they serve the public, not their union. Cops should have zero expectations of privacy for public policing actions. They, of course, have the legal right to use a huge variety of lethal and non-lethal counter responses to threats against themselves and the public they protect. That's the deal. To drive into our city to spend the afternoon getting OT to beat non-violent protestors ain't it.


Let's be clear: I was afraid to go anywhere near that parade not because of the police or the paraders. I was afraid of the masked protesters there to cause trouble. I support the police and any resolution that helps them do their jobs safely.


The majority of the protesters who suffered injuries from pepper spray at the Nazi Pride March were medics trying to help the mass of peaceful protesters, against whom the cops decided to vent their frustration about having to work the long weekend. Using chemical weapons against medical personnel has been internationally recognized as a war crime for a hundred years. Lemme know when the charges against BPD come down, will you?

Meanwhile, if you’re scared of antifa but not the paramilitary squad the was deployed at the parade, my only suggestion is that you wear long sleeves to cover the swastikas inked on your biceps.


Doesn’t the City of Boston have an entire service to assist people who are injured?

Armies bring medics to wars. Why did this group bring “medics” to watch some idiots march for “straight pride” unless they were planning on going to war?


When I take my Girl Scout troop camping, we bring a medic (called a First Aider in GS parlance). Not going to war then (although a good night's sleep is generally a casualty). There's EMS at every professional sporting event.

People fall, have asthma flare ups, have panic attacks in everyday life. Someone may need CPR. It is responsible to plan additional volunteers to manage those things when you anticipate a large gathering.


But other than paramilitary groups (which the Girl Scouts are) most people depend upon the city’s Emergency Medical Services to handle said situations.

...like someone for whom a big wilderness adventure is walking across Boston Common.

Moreover, this:

People fall, have asthma flare ups, have panic attacks in everyday life. Someone may need CPR. It is responsible to plan additional volunteers to manage those things when you anticipate a large gathering.

is precisely why protestors, whoever they may be, should not be blocking traffic and making it more difficult for ambulances, fire engines, and police cars to get through on the way to the scene of a crime, a fire, or if a seriously ill or injured patient is being transferred to the hospital. Every second of every minute counts, in any event. The same thing goes if a person is trying to get their sick or injured pet to the animal hospital on an emergency basis, or trying to get to an important medical appointment.

All of the above having been said, if nobody on here likes my opinion, so be it.

Medics are present on many occasions when there's a good chance that an illness or injury may need to be addressed in a timely fashion. This includes sporting events, backcountry trips, schools (what do you think a school nurse is?), fairs and carnivals, ski slopes, etc. If you're prudent, any time you're getting a large group of people together and/or you're in a location that an ambulance can't just drive up to in five minutes, you'll have medics there, prepared for whatever you may encounter. At a soccer game, you carry tape and ice; on a ski slope, you carry splints and handwarmers; at a demonstration that is targeted by thugs in uniform, you bring remedies for pepper spray.


You are saying the silly “Straight Pride” people were targeted by thugs?

...said an honest thing in your life?

You just went to straight pathetic, my dude.

I’d say that most of those who came out to protest the silly parade came to do just that. Those who came with “medics” were LARPing some 1930s Europe scenario in which the forces of “the people” did literal battle with fascists. I ask you, who is more pathetic?

As written, this is a defacto burqa ban. He’s either too ignorant to realize that or is just plain ignorant and does realize it.


As a Libertarian I pretty much am an absolutist on free speech. This is interesting, though, because the 1st Amendment protections are not absolute. One may not incite a mob or offer threats. Also, there are differences in case law between spoken words (which are the most protected) and representative speech (images, attire, etc).
This is clearly meant to prevent anonymity for Antifa left wing fascist protesters (yes, I mean that correctly) to create a tolerant atmosphere for them to enact violence against their chosen subjects. They are the new KKK, hiding behind black masks rather than white sheets. They just have different ends to their means.
The question is if this manner of hiding of identity is protected "speech." Usually the court bends when speech is offered in the promotion of violence. Since that is the main purpose for the hidden identity in these "protests" my guess is the Supreme Court would uphold speech restriction. But it is a close argument.
That said, I can offer my own free speech to offer a great big FUCK YOU to violent Antifa asshats as well at to their neo-nazi cousins they are protesting. You all suck. This is our F'ing city. Stay the F out of our streets.
Oh, and I am posting anon just like those MF'ers want to be.


So you think the people protesting against the kkk and other white supremacists are the new kkk?! That is not smart. Seek help.


Antifa left wing fascist protesters (yes, I mean that correctly)

You are very confused.


No more balaclava on my bicycle 6 months of the year?


...as much as I love it, that stuff doesn't belong on a bike ride. the honey gets all over the place. Could cause an accident if you're not careful.


You can't ride a bike with all that delicious gooey sugar pastry in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

More people are wearing surgical masks to protect themselves from from getting sick. Would wearing such masks become illegal? If not, guaranteed protesters will wear them (go Hong Kong!) .


People wearing medical masks are sick and are protecting everyone else from getting sick. They're thinking about your health not their own.


Healthy people in Asia have been wearing masks for prevention for years. Wearing masks for prevention has been catching on here and research show it does help with prevention.

This article explains that and links to research studies and medical publications: https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/mask#1 . Or Google and find other articles.

not only to protect other people's health and well-being, but their own health and well-being in addition to that.

Wearing a mask in the context of a political event is solidly a free speech issue. When there are people willing to photograph political protestors for the purpose of harassment or worse a mask is necessary to the ability to protest.

Iranians in the US protesting the abuses fo the Shah had to wear masks. The Shah's secret police, SAVAK, recorded protestors faces and harassed and tortured the families of protestors in Iran. This was before cell phones.

With cell phones the likelihood of domestic terrorists using technology to individually attack protestors exercising their rights is elevated. When dealing with evil people there are no limits to their conduct.

Garrison is gross. Now sucking up to police. With her life's story she had ample opportunity to learn compassion for others.

Police unions are some of the greatest dangers to unions in general. New York's and Boston's unions are examples of just another business that has no regard but for its own profits. In the case of unions the profits are in the form of dues.

Want unions to revive? What to sway the public that unions are good for society? Get rid the unions who don't care one badge for the people they work for and care only for themselves and whatever they can suck out of their system.


Get rid the unions who don't care one badge for the people they work for and care only for themselves and whatever they can suck out of their system.

So get rid of ALL unions.

We all wear masks, metaphorically speaking.

McCarthy is going full on Blue Lives Matter now that he’s not running again. He was ripping Ayanna Pressley on his personal Facebook page this weekend too.


not wearing a mask anymore?


No masks on halloween!

Would it ban the masked "Nazi" counter-protesters at the August 2019 prison protest in Copley Square:

Would it ban these right-wing counter-protestors at the 2018 Rally Against Family Separation at Boston City Hall Plaza who were protected by police: https://gregcookland.com/wonderland/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/picRallyA...

How about these right-wing counter-protesters at the 2017 Boston Women’s March of America at Boston Common: https://gregcookland.com/wonderland/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/picWomens...

Would it ban the drag performers at a 2016 Copley Square vigil for 50 people murdered and more than 50 injured when a gunman opened fire at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida: https://www.universalhub.com/2016/remembering-those-lost-orlando-and-vow...

How about this Native American activist at the 2016 “Boston Stands with Standing Rock” rally on Boston Common: https://gregcookland.com/wonderland/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/picStandi...

Would it outlaw Santa Claus in the "Santas Against Global Warming!" group in the 2016 Malden holiday parade: https://gregcookland.com/wonderland/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/picSantaP...


The people who are attacking the first amendment rights of others should not be allowed to hide behind the first amendment to do so.


Speak plainly if you want to be taken seriously.


Is he going to have cyclists arrested in the winter?

What about people working outdoors during extreme cold spells? People like lineworkers for utilities? Arrest them? Other outdoor workers who keep the water flowing and the lights on


He would only arrest those people if they are politicians.

Maybe I'm not reading this right ...

The criminal charge of armed robbery while masked or disguised has been on the books for years and survived many court challenges. The councilor should simply amend the proposal to "breach of the peace while masked." This would protect the far-fetched scenarios mentioned above. I wouldn't consider Keytar Bear and his music a breach of the peace but just in case, an exception for licensed street performers etc. could be made. The courts have already allowed certain enhancers to breach of the peace, for instance disturbing, disorderly etc. are misdemeanors on their own but become a felony when armed with a billy club. It would be easy at the state level to add "or while masked" too. If not, the police unions will likely put it on the ballot.

Antifa is a bad look for the Dems and it's only warmups now, wait until next year. Has Warren said yet if she stands with Antifa or her hometown BPPA? She should have a snappy answer in case she faces Trump who will definetely ask!


trump and his legion of brown shirts every day of the week.


That being said after watching the trailer for the new Joker movie scary subway scene if I am riding the red line line and a nutjob boards the train wearing a Joker mask and the doors shut and I am trapped I will support the Councilor.

There's already a law that makes wearing a mask or disguise to prevent law enforcement from carrying out their duty illegal (i.e., you break the law while wearing a mask so you're harder to identify, you get extra charges).

This proposal is unnecessary and overreaching. It make simply being present in a location where BPD thinks a crime might maybe take place and wearing a face covering for any reason illegal.

I was at the protest. I was standing on the sidewalk, no order to disperse given, when BPD started pepper spraying the crowd. I don't know what triggered that action, maybe an officer felt threatened, maybe a cop was flexing, I don't know. What I do know is that I was within my legal right to be where I was, but because the spray spreads, I had the choice of breathing it in and suffering or putting a bandana over my face. What do you think I chose?

And I would be breaking the law by protecting myself in that situation if this passes.

Passing a law that says basically if you do X, you'll be arrested because we think you'll do Y is foolish and a dangerously slippery slope.