Man who says he was assaulted by white supremacist marchers speaks out

Black community leaders in Boston are marking the Fourth of July by responding to the white supremacists who marched through Boston two days ago.

Members of the group, identified by police as Patriot Front, marched through the city on Saturday with concealed faces, wearing shirts that read “Reclaim America.”

The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks hate groups nationwide, has called Patriot Front a white supremacist group that spreads racism, antisemitism, and other forms of hate online. The ADL says the group is focused on “preserving America’s identity as a European-American one.”

Police say a Black man reported that he was assaulted during the march, after the man said he was trying to record the group on his cellphone. In the police report sent to ABC News by Boston Police Department officials, the man said Patriot Front members with shields began to surround and shove him after he started to record.

Thomas Rousseau, founder and leader of white nationalist group Patriot Front, along with other supporters march during the Fourth of July holiday weekend in Malden, Mass., July 2, 2022.

Obtained By Reuters

When he tried to shove back in order to free himself, he was knocked to the ground, kicked and beaten, the police report said.

The man suffered lacerations to his head, arms and hands, and was treated at a nearby hospital, according to the report. No arrests have been made.

The man later identified himself as Charles Murrell, an artist and social justice organizer. He spoke Monday at a gathering of Black leaders and urged listeners to attend local events about race, diversity and justice.

“There are ambassadors, artists, and people who care about the city and the image of this city, that have been doing the work, and we are inviting you to come share space with us,” Murrell said.

Mawakana Onifade, a friend and mentor of Murrell, said, “We will always stand in the face of the new Klan, there’s no mistake about this. When one covers one’s face, we know what is behind that.”

Local Black leaders called Patriot Front the “children of the KKK.”

“We’re not surprised. Boston has had a long legacy of racism,” said Reverend Kevin Peterson. “In fact, the city was founded on racism. Slaves were imported here. And that legacy continues into 2022.”

Leaders are calling on Mayor Michelle Wu to act quickly against the spread of hateful and dangerous ideologies.

“We can’t look at this as the new age. This is the old age that needs to be dismantled,” said Onifade. “Mayor Wu, what are you going to really do besides the words that we have been reading about. What is the call to action? Where is the accountability?”

PHOTO:Supporters of the white nationalist group Patriot Front march during the Fourth of July holiday weekend in Malden, Mass., July 2, 2022.

Supporters of the white nationalist group Patriot Front march during the Fourth of July holiday weekend in Malden, Mass., July 2, 2022.

Obtained By Reuters

Wu has condemned the march, tweeting that the “disgusting hate of white supremacists has no place here.”

In a statement, Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn warned about growing white supremacist sentiment in the region.

“It is wholly repugnant to once again read reports and see videos on social media about dozens of Neo Nazis making another brazen public display with their hateful ideology,” Flynn wrote. “They have continued to make their presence known, most recently in March at the St. Patrick’s Day parade,” when Patriot Front members reportedly held up a “Keep Boston Irish” banner.

Wu said the investigation into the latest incident is ongoing and is being spearheaded by the city’s Civil Rights Unit, according to Boston ABC affiliate WCVB-TV.

“We’re looking into their identities and there already has been some information shared in various parts about the national leaders of this group who were part of this effort, who were in town, were present at the recent events as this group has gone to terrorize other communities as well,” Wu said.

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