Counterprotesters gather outside Children’s Hospital in anticipation of right-wing demonstration


Rebecca Chaia Tabasky, 39, of Groton, said she was attending the counter-demonstration to support the hospital and its patients.

“All children, all people deserve care. And especially trans people, non-binary people who already carry the burdens of this society too much and suffer too much harassment, too much harm,” she said. “You deserve a full, good, loving life.”

The street already had a visible police presence by 9:20 a.m., with officers congregating in small groups at the Blackfan Street entrance. Several legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild were also present.

A lone man with a Burke for US Congress sign faced the counter-demonstrators.

Officials erected metal fences on both sides of Longwood Avenue in an apparent attempt to keep anti-hospital protesters and counter-protesters separate.

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One of the officers said to some counter-protesters, “We just want the peace to be kept.”

On Thursday, Catherine Leavy, 37, of Westfield, was arrested at her home and charged in connection with a fake bomb threat that authorities say left Leavy hospitalized on August 30.

US Attorney Rachael S. said Rollins in a press conference last week that The caller told a hospital operator in part: “There’s a bomb on the way to the hospital. You better evacuate everyone, you idiots.”

According to authorities, no bomb was found.

Another threat was hospitalized on September 9. No one has been charged with it.

Special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Division, Joseph R. Bonavolonta, said the Children’s Hospital has been targeted with ongoing harassment in connection with the services it provides to “gender and transgender individuals and their families.”

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The hospital established the nation’s first transgender health program for children and adolescents in 2007.

Over the past month, the hospital said it was “the target of a large volume of hostile internet activity, phone calls and harassing emails, including threats of violence towards our clinicians and staff.”

Hospital officials are “deeply concerned” that attacks on clinicians and staff are fueled by misinformation and a lack of understanding and respect for the transgender community, it said.

The focus of far-right activists was the hospital’s Gender Multispecialty Service Program, which provides care for children and young adults with gender dysphoria, a condition in which a person identifies as a gender different from their birth-assigned gender.

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The far-right activists have accused such services of “dismembering” children to change their gender, which is not true.

The hospital does not perform genital surgery on anyone under the age of 18. Under certain circumstances and with parental consent, it performs breast surgeries on young people aged 15 and over.

Felice J. Freyer and Kay Lazar of Globe staff and Globe correspondent Jeremy C. Fox contributed to this report.


John Hilliard can be reached at [email protected]



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