Boston, MA/August 18, 2017–As our nation grapples with the terrifying and tragic events in Charlottesville, and as the City of Boston braces for a “Free Speech Rally” on the Common tomorrow, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (LWVMA) must speak out. For almost 100 years, the League has been a nonpartisan defender of democracy. While we cherish the individual rights of free speech and assembly, we feel a special responsibility to make our voice heard when those rights are used to incite hate and violence, and when they serve as tools to divide our nation rather than unite us as a free people.
Representing 3,000 members in over 100 Massachusetts communities, LWVMA strongly and unequivocally condemns racism, bigotry and violence. With one voice, we reaffirm our commitment to these core, democratic values: promoting social and economic justice, securing equal rights for all, and combating discrimination and poverty.
We applaud Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for taking a coordinated and clear stand against hateful rhetoric, intimidation, and violence and for reminding us all, in Boston and the Commonwealth, of what we stand for: civil rights, equality, unity in our diversity, love, and justice for all. As Boston readies for tomorrow’s rally, let us all keep these greater goals in mind and work together to achieve them.
The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Board and Staff