In an emergency meeting, Lexington's Board of Selectmen this evening voted to issue a moratorium prohibiting the use of the Battle Green or Tower Park for events from April 17 to May 1.
The decision, delivered after 6 p.m. this evening, comes as officials and police simultaneously respond to yesterday's Boston Marathon bombings and looked ahead to a controversial pro-Second Amendment rally that was scheduled to take place here, on the Lexington Battle Green, this Friday, April 19.
Time and place were admittedly a consideration, officials said, as the date marks not only first day of armed conflict in the American Revolution, but also the anniverasry of more recent tragedies in Waco, Texas and Oklahoma City. However, officials said an equally relevant concern was the strain on resources the Lexington Police Department normally would have been able to count on as backup for a large assembly, including NEMLEC, the State Police and local police departments, all of which are currently channeling resources toward Boston.
POSTED EARLIER TODAY
A pro-Second Amendment rally meant to mark the ‘Shot heard ‘round the world’ may be impacted by the most recent blast heard ‘round the world.
Police in Lexington confirmed Tuesday that town officials are in conversations with organizers of the Gun Rights Across America: Massachusetts rally planned for this Friday, April 19 about how the Boston Marathon bombing will impact the event. Further, the Board of Selectmen—the permitting authority on rallies like this—have called an “emergency meeting” for 6 p.m. tonight, April 16, at the Town Office Building and items on the agenda include:
- Suspension of Permitted Activities on the Battle Green and Tower Park
- Moratorium on Future Permits for the Battle Green and Surrounding Public Areas and Tower Park
The Battle Green is the old town common in Lexington on which the first shots of the American Revolution were fired the morning of April 19, 1775, when local farmers took up arms against the British Regulars who were marching out to Concord.
A re-enactment of this “Battle of Lexington” was held early Patriots’ Day morning, less than nine hours before two bombs detonated at the finish line of the .
Speaking with Patch on Tuesday, Lexington Police Capt. Manny Ferro said conversations among town officials and event organizers are ongoing.
“I think it’s certainly prudent for the town to take a look at that rally and discuss it further, and how it may impact out security issues,” Ferro said by phone. “Public safety is at the forefront of anything that we do. There will be discussions, and there have been discussions about how we’re going to approach this.”
Patch reached out to Gun Rights Across America for comment a few hours after the marathon bombing was first-reported on Monday and had not received a response as of 3:20 p.m. Tuesday.
A few statments had been made on the event's Facebook page, including this:
We send our best wishes and condolences to all the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing. To the coward(s) who perpetrated this heinous act, your day of judgement will come. We are the strong, the free, the determined. We are Americans, and you will never break us.
In leu of yesterday's tragedy, please don't let up on the pressure of calling our Senators and Representatives. They will not hesitate to try to sneak one by us when we're looking in the other direction.
Deb Mauger, chairwoman of Lexington's Board of Selectmen, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on Tuesday afternoon.