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Keller @ Large: Making A Joke Of The First Amendment

BOSTON (CBS) - Now that the dust has settled on Saturday's events down at the Common, thankfully with no serious injuries that I know of, we can start to take stock of what really happened.

It doesn't surprise me that my suggestion of last week – that the community isolate and repudiate the protagonists by completely boycotting their pitiful "rally" – was ignored.

Boston Protests
Thousands of protesters march on Tremont Street in Boston against a 'Free Speech Rally' on Boston Common, August 19, 2017. (WBZ-TV)

As we saw at the massive Women's March against Trump last winter and again on Saturday, there are many thousands of people in our community willing to show up and protest peacefully, and that's a good thing.

Boston Protests
Thousands of counter protesters march to a planned 'Free Speech Rally' on Boston Common on August 19, 2017. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

It's also not surprising that the crowd included a few hundred creepy wanna-be anarchists and others looking for trouble, who found it by roughing up a few Trump supporters and pointlessly confronting the cops.

Boston Protests
Some counter demonstrators scuffled with Boston Police after the rally on the Common ended Saturday afternoon. (WBZ-TV)

If they managed to catch any of the creeps who allegedly threw bodily waste at the police, I call on the district court judges to come up with creative punishment.

Boston Protests
Some protesters scuffled with riot police escorting conservative activists following a march in Boston against a planned 'free speech' rally on August 19, 2017 in Boston. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

But the whole affair left me with a question: why did the City of Boston issue a permit for this travesty at all?

Given the size of the counter-protesting crowd, I can understand keeping them well away from the fringe rally.

Boston Protests
An aerial view of protesters on Boston Common demonstrating against a so-called 'free speech' rally on the Parkman Bandstand Saturday, August 19, 2017. (WBZ-TV)

But barring the media – not even a pool camera was allowed – effectively shut down any public access to the speeches.

That wasn't necessary to protect public safety.

Boston Protests
The 'free speech' rally was confined to the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common Saturday as barriers and police held back a massive protest. (WBZ-TV)

It deprived the public of a good chance to hear how little these folks had to offer.

And it made a joke of the First Amendment just when it needs to be taken more seriously than ever.

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