Somerville, Massachusetts, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone has been hanging a “Black Lives Matter” banner on City Hall since August of 2015, and he has refused to take it down in spite of outrage from the local police force, among others.
A group of vets from the town decided that they weren’t going to take the mayor’s action lying down. According to the Boston Herald, they put an “All Lives Matter” sign over their American Legion Post, setting up a quiet battle with Mayor Curtatone.
“We seen what went on with City Hall. We’re not happy about it,” post Commander Dave Chamberlain said. “We’re not knocking Black Lives Matter. We’re not knocking anybody … We don’t care about your color. We don’t care about where you come from — all lives matter.”
Chamberlain made it clear that his statement wasn’t a political one, but rather directly in response to the mayor’s refusal to replace the “Black Lives Matter” sign with one reading “All Lives Matter.”
“It’s something I felt I had to do,” Chamberlain said. “We don’t care about color. We don’t care about nationality. Yes, we’re sick about the police officers being shot (and) we don’t like seeing black kids getting shot by cops … We’re not political. We don’t want to be. We’ve got to make a statement. Everybody matters.”
“In the military we’re all green. Everybody who served their country, their color was the same,” Mark Killoren, the post’s junior vice commander, added. “When you were in a foxhole, you didn’t give a (expletive) what color they were. They’re saving your life. That sign is going to stay up on the post.”
These are the competing signs:
In spite of this, Mayor Curtatone wasn’t planning on backing down anytime soon.
“It is violence that tests us in every community, demanding we either come together, or break apart, and let me be clear: Communities cannot sit this conversation out,” Curtatone was quoted as saying.