Beth­le­hem man charged with assault at Bos­ton’s Straight Pride Pa­rade

The Morning Call - - LOCAL NEWS - By Kayla Dwyer

A Beth­le­hem man was among the nine peo­ple ar­rested and charged with as­sault­ing po­lice at the con­tro­ver­sial Straight Pride Pa­rade in Bos­ton on Satur­day, ac­cord­ing to Bos­ton po­lice.

Ken­neth Kraft Jr., 24, will be ar­raigned Tues­day in Bos­ton Mu­nic­i­pal Court on charges of assault and bat­tery of a po­lice of­fi­cer, a Bos­ton Po­lice Depart­ment spokesper­son con­firmed.

In to­tal, 36 peo­ple were ar­rested at the pa­rade, mostly on dis­or­derly con­duct charges. Four of­fi­cers sus­tained in­juries, po­lice said.

The march faced pub­lic scru­tiny af­ter Bos­ton approved its ap­pli­ca­tion in June. Or­ga­niz­ers said they were re­spond­ing to the “iden­tity pol­i­tics” of the left that has made straight peo­ple the “op­pressed ma­jor­ity.” Coun­ter­protesters ar­gued the pa­rade was a mock­ery of progress made by LGBT rights ad­vo­cates. Some pro­test­ers yelled ex­ple­tives and called straight­pride marchers, “Nazi scum.”

A cou­ple hun­dred marchers met more than a thou­sand coun­ter­protesters Satur­day, many of whom iden­ti­fied with the anti-fas­cist group an­tifa. A mas­sive pres­ence of po­lice wear­ing gas masks at­tempted to mit­i­gate the com­pet­ing demon­stra­tions.

Some of the pro­test­ers con­fronted po­lice, and USA Today re­ported po­lice used pep­per spray on a group of them.

The city’s Demo­cratic mayor, Marty Walsh, has op­posed the mes­sage of the pa­rade but said he could not deny a per­mit based on that.

Morn­ing Call reporter Kayla Dwyer can be reached at 610-820-6554 or at kd­[email protected]

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