Statement on “Back the Blue” Protest Thursday September 10

Dear Arlington friends and neighbors,

A Back the Blue rally to support Arlington police officers in front of Town Hall on Thursday, September 10th has been announced. The organizers of this event appear to be affiliated with “Act for America”, an organization that has been designated as a hate group by national organizations who monitor hate crimes and hate speech, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. The Arlington Human Rights Commission strongly condemns any group that stands for and encourages hate and racist views toward any members of our community. Protests sponsored by such groups are often intended to foment civil unrest and create fear to gain media attention and followers.

The organizers claim to be coming to Arlington to support the Arlington Police Department. We, the Arlington Human Rights Commission, have a long history of working with and supporting the Arlington Police and deeply value our relationship with Chief Flaherty and all those who work with her to protect and serve our community. The Commission is concerned, however, that the organizer’s true motive for coming to Arlington is to create division and tension.

The Arlington Human Rights Commission affirms the right and need to protest and to counter-protest, but the safety of Arlington residents is of paramount importance to us. With that in mind, the AHRC offe