A view of Boston Common

Credit: Charles Krupa/AP

Saturday Protest May Force Some Bars Near Boston Common To Close

August 18, 2017

Bars and restaurants around Boston Common are considering closing their doors on Saturday, out of fear of a planned white nationalist rally and counter protests that day. 

Joseph Thomas McCabe and his partners own a number of Irish pubs in and around Boston, including four near Boston Common. He says he went to City Hall to ask for guidance on how to handle the possibility of being drawn into a conflict on Saturday.

“If this thing escalates into something beyond our imagination, we do not want to ... have these people in our restaurants before the event or after the event,” McCabe said.

If things go badly on Saturday, McCabe said he doesn't want anyone saying it was because people on either side of the conflict were drinking at his pubs.

"We would rather stay closed until at least six o'clock on the Saturday evening, and then on that evening get guidance from the commissioner or the captain or sergeant as to what they suggest," he added. "Should we open at six, should we open at seven, or should we even stay closed? For us it's not about the business. It's all about the safety."

The mayor’s office said they haven’t issued any directive to businesses surrounding Boston Common to stay closed on Saturday, but they have told the vendors within the park not to open that day.

“We don’t want to be dragged into any of this, I don’t know, stone age way of thinking," McCabe said. "This is not America. This is not the America that we came to 30 years ago, you know?”

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