Hundreds of supporters from two groups gathered on either side of Main Street in dueling rallies in front of the Watertown Police Station on Thursday afternoon. The pro-police supporters outnumbered those supporting the teacher who showed the controversial video at Watertown Middle School.
Many came to support the Watertown Police, in a “Back the Blue” rally following the showing an anti-police video at Watertown Middle School. Others came to support the teacher, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement in a rally organized by Solidarity Against Hate – Boston.
The rallies had mostly festive atmospheres, with chanting, music and many signs. A few times, small groups of people exchanged words and middle fingers, but police officers got in between them to cool things down.
Police lined up near the corner of Main and Olcott streets late in the afternoon after a few tense moments. The heated exchanges were calmed, and no one was arrested or taken into custody, according to Watertown Police Lt. James O’Connor. Police brought in a few extra officers from other departments that are part of the NEMLEC (Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council) consortium.
People began gathering around 3 p.m. and the last ones left the area shortly before 6 p.m.
Thanks go out to those that started the rally to support our police. We have a very dedicated and community-minded group of officers who show the best of the best and they should be supported. For a teacher to present a bigoted, anti-police video in class to students at a very impressionable age is not acceptable. As a community that says it’s for peace, unity, diversity and tolerance, this teacher negated all of that. There is no reason to introduce mistrust and hate for officers who are here to defend and protect us. The bad actions of some police in other areas should not be taken out on our police force. With the students not getting enough real education time during this pandemic, we don’t need time taken for this type of activity. This teacher is a self-centered and selfish individual who feels her views are more important than anyone else. Her views should be kept to herself and not shared in class. She should be teaching her lessons and sticking to the curriculum. Strict actions need to be taken against her to discourage other rogue teachers from doing similar things.