There’s been a lot of consternation about several rallies being held on Mass Ave today, Thursday September 10th. Since there’s also been a lot of confusion and unfounded assumptions about these events, here’s a quick primer to the who, when, and where of these events, listed in order of them originally being announced. In particular Facebook has a lot of allegations of alliances with other groups that don’t have any evidence other than similarity in group names, so if you’re curious, please read up on the event hosts directly.

News Coverage

Now that it’s Friday and all events are completed, here’s a news coverage roundup so far.

Nightly Arlington Mass Ave Vigil - 6pm to 7pm, along Mass Ave

Started by a local AHS graduate Isa Dray shortly after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, protestors for Black Lives Matter have stood peacefully from 6pm - 7pm every night all along Mass Ave. Weather and weekday dependent, there are generally groups at least in the Heights, at Mass Ave / Rt 60, and Calvary United Methodist Church corners every night since.

Arlington Backs The Blue - 4pm to 6pm, Town hall

The Facebook event page shows this event will be from 4pm to 6pm in front of Town hall and is to show support for the officers serving in the Arlington Police Department. Event notes require masks, social distancing, and asks attendees to not bring any political campaign signs or flags.

It is hosted by Tony Fed, Elizabeth Frances and America Backs The Blue, Inc., a recently created Massachusetts non-profit corporation, but that does not yet have IRS 501(C)3 status. The organizers have issued a statement disavowing connections to other similarly-named groups.

Counter-protest To The Back The Blue Rally - 3:45pm to 6pm, Whittemore Park

The Facebook event page shows this event will start at 3:45pm at Whittemore Park to counter-protest the above rally. Sign-making, speeches, chants will be held in Whittemore Park. Event notes require masks, social distancing, and urges attendees to not interact with the Arlington Backs The Blue rally.

It is hosted by Arlington Fights Racism and the Greater Boston Peace Coalition.

Demonstrate Against Back the Blue in Arlington! - 3:45pm to 6pm, Across street from Town hall

The Facebook event page shows this event will start at 3:45pm on the opposite side of Mass Ave from Town hall, to counter-protest the Arlington Backs the Blue rally. Organizers ask for attendees to bring masks, food, water, and noisemakers as they attempt to drown out the rally across the street.

It is hosted by Solidarity Against Hate - Boston.

Counter Rally - 4pm, First Parish Unitarian Universalist

The church’s event page shows this event will start at 4pm on the First Parish front lawn. They acknowledge the other rallies, and ask any attending their event to avoid confrontations with Back the Blue.

It is hosted by Revs. Erica and Marta of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist church.

Other Coverage

Your Arlington has a lengthy article investigating events and sponsors and earlier covered the town manager’s statements on them.

The Arlington Human Rights Commission issued a statement.

Arlington’s Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine issued a statement on the original rally and also sat for a video interview with ACMi.