A number of progressive activists and organizations will gather in Downtown New Bedford tomorrow afternoon for a rally to "celebrate peace, tolerance and diversity."

The rally is being sponsored by The New Bedford Human Relations Commission and The New Bedford Police Department and is being promoted by Mayor Jon Mitchell's office.  Rally organizers include the New Bedford Chapter of We Won't Go Back, The Coalition For Social Justice, No Room For Hate, The Southeastern Massachusetts Labor Council and a host of other organizations, government and non-government, dealing with issues ranging from discrimination to immigration.

Rallies are wonderful.  I love rallies.  Rallies unite participants around a common cause and can have a generally positive impact.  Whether you are rallying to support the high school football team, a political candidate or even opposition to something, rallies can be meaningful and energizing.

What I don't like is government sponsored rallies that involve what I consider to be subversive organizations whose agendas including resisting and disrupting because they can't except the results of a legal and legitimate national election.

I suspect that the rally will consist of a sea of anti-Trump signs held by progressive activists more interested in resisting that making peace.  No organizations that support Trump policies were invited to participate in the event.  Seems to me that opening a dialogue might be more productive, but we'll see what follows.

Marcelina Pina-Christian, Human Services Coordinator for the HRC assures me that the rally is intended as a means of finding common solutions and ways to commutate and that Trump bashing "will not be tolerated."  I take her at her word.

Ms. Pina-Christian and I are in agreement that times have changed and we no longer seem capable of communicating in a civil manner.  She seems committed to changing that.  I hope she is successful.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.



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