Somerville Massachusetts Mayor Joe Curataton (Democrat) faces rebellion for his recent actions. He has hung an oversized BLM banner above the entrance of City Hall. Residents including the police are upset. While BLM target whites and police this mayor deemed it appropriate to hand this offensive banner. PLEASE TAKE NATIONAL POLLS AND PETITIONS. YOUR OPINION MATTERS Results Are Sent To Congress - Let Congress Hear Your Voice
PLEASE TAKE NATIONAL POLLS AND PETITIONS. YOUR OPINION MATTERS
Results Are Sent To Congress - Let Congress Hear Your Voice
The community has requested the mayor replace the banner with an ‘All Lives Matter’ banner and the mayor refused.
The community stood outside city hall and broke into chants of “All lives matter!” and “Take it down!” Many held signs saying “Cops lives matter” and “Support your local police.”
Harold MacGilvray, president of a coalition representing 1,500 officers in 26 communities, said a public building like Somerville’s City Hall is “no place” for political slogans to be displayed.
The mayor of Somerville, a largely white and historically working-class Boston suburb, had earlier in the day promised not to remove the banner despite complaints from officers across the state.
Mayor Joe Curtatone, a white Democrat, said Thursday afternoon it’s “OK to disagree” and the only way to resolve the impasse is through an “open dialogue” about race.
“That sign is not coming down,” he insisted while standing in front of City Hall flanked by the police chief and two deputy chiefs.
The Somerville Police Employees Association was among the unions represented at the opposition rally Thursday evening outside City Hall. Its president, Michael McGrath, said his officers support the “core goal” of the Black Lives Matter movement but believe the banner sends an “exclusionary message” and is disrespectful to officers.
“In the face of the continuing assassination of innocent police officers across the country … it is irresponsible of the city to publicly declare support for the lives of one sector of our population to the exclusion of others,” McGrath said in a statement this week.
When asked whether he thought it was appropriate to place the Black Lives Matter banner on a government building, he replied: “No one can sit out this conversation. Where this is happening is in cities. This is the grassroots level.”
Last week, the city police union called on the mayor to replace the City Hall banner, which says “#BlackLivesMatter,” with one that states “All Lives Matter,” a phrase some civil rights activists complain diminishes their concerns about the killings of black men and boys at the hands of police.
In response, police Chief David Fallon, who supports keeping the banner over City Hall, chided the union for getting involved in the debate.
Curtatone said opposition to the banner wasn’t shared by all police officers. He also said he’s “proud” of the response from residents, community leaders, faith-based leaders and activists, and he rejected the notion officers would face reprisals if they attended the opposition rally.
Somerville is a city of more than 80,000 residents that borders Boston and Cambridge and is home to most of Tufts University’s campus. It is about 74 percent white, 11 percent Latino, 9 percent Asian and 7 percent black, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.