Protesters target Children’s Hospital as hundreds rally to defend it – The Boston Globe

At one point, Alston yelled, “There’s no such thing as a transgender child.”

During the demonstration, Alston was subjected to abuse and humiliation by Longwood Avenue counter-protesters. He carried two signs on his shoulders, one of which had a dictionary entry for the word dad with the message: “A human man who defends his children from gender bias.”

About 200 counter-protesters, who took over the hospital entrance, waved blue-pink and white striped flags, raised trans-pro slogans, and carried signs with messages such as “We love our trans children”. .

Trans rights counter protesters gather on the street outside Boston Children’s Hospital on Sunday to confront anti-trans protesters, “What we do when trans children are attacked, stand up for the fight,” on Sunday.Carlin Stehl for the Boston Globe

Rebecca Chia Tabaskey, 39, of Groton, said she was participating in the counterintelligence to support the hospital and its patients.

“All children, all people deserve care. And trans people in particular, non-binary people who already share the burden of this society and receive a lot of persecution, do a lot of harm,” she said. “They deserve a full, good love life.”

Last week, Dr. Kevin Churchwell, the hospital’s president and chief executive, issued a statement to staff warning about Sunday’s trans-trans protests, with non-essential workers not coming to the hospital that day or working from home. was requested to do.

“This protest has been organized by the same individuals who are spreading harmful and misinformation about the critical care provided to patients,” Churchwell said.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement Sunday afternoon that a small group of protesters who were part of a “national threat tour” targeted the city and the life-saving care provided by doctors, nurses and health care workers.

In Boston, trans youth are “seen, heard and valued” in the community, she said.

“We will not allow bullying and those who rely on intimidation to get in the way of our work to make Boston a safe and welcoming city,” Wu said.

Boston police installed metal fencing on both sides of Longwood Avenue on Sunday morning and dozens of officers with helmets and batons were at the scene. Several legal observers were also present there along with the National Lawyers Guild. The protesters arrived first, around 9 a.m., followed by the anti-trans protesters at around 11 p.m. The two began to break up shortly before 2 pm.

The protest, which focused on anti-trans protesters, repeatedly criticized the police for their handling of the protests.

“Who do you protect? Who do you serve?” The protesters raised slogans against the police.

Hospital officials praised the police work in a statement after the protests ended on Sunday afternoon.

“The safety and security of our patients and staff is our top priority, and we are extremely grateful for the work done today by local law enforcement… We will proudly continue to provide life-saving health care and protect the safety of our staff, patients. and their families,” the statement said.

Boston Police spokesman Sergeant Detective John Boyle said police were at the scene on Sunday to “keep the peace” and allow all protesters to exercise their First Amendment rights. Officials were also present to ensure that patients, families and hospital staff remained safe, he said.

Boston police officers stand in front of trans rights counter protesters gathered outside Boston Children’s Hospital on Sunday.Carlin Stehl for the Boston Globe

There was no report of any arrest or injury, he said.

Counter-protesters raised slogans in support of the hospital and its patients during their nearly five-hour demonstration, which included, “When trans children are attacked, what do we do? Stand up and fight.”

During the program, passersby thanked the protesters. Vehicles, including an MBTA bus, honked their horns, cheering opponents.

Emma Devine, 31, of Worcester, said she joined the protests to support transgender children and to protest the rise of extremism in the United States.

“People who openly threaten children’s hospitals are now considered a normal part of our politics,” she said. “If we don’t face it, it could get worse. I think everyone has to stand up against it.”

Skyler Yerxa, 18, a Wentworth Institute of Technology student, said she had transgender friends who were harassed.

“I’ve seen trans people I’ve been friends with get bullied, kicked out of the bathroom, rejected by their families, and I don’t stand for it,” he said.

Andromeda Yelton, 44, of Somerville, said she was not surprised by the large number of people supporting the hospital and the trans community.

“That’s how we do it,” she said. “This is a city that is going to support the trans community and I am happy for that.”


John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.

Source link