U.S. Representatives and “squad” members AOC and Ayanna Pressley financially support group that attacked cops and parade goers

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Sean Philip Cotter, Boston Herald

U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, members of the so-called “squad” of new left-wing congresswomen, are backing the anti-Straight Pride protesters accused of assaulting cops and the marchers, and touting a fund for their defense.

An online fundraiser initiated by the Lucy Parsons Center, a Jamaica Plain anarchist bookstore, has raised more than $24,000 for the legal costs of the 36 people arrested at the Straight Pride Parade, including nine charged with assaulting cops.

Pressley, who represents much of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville, retweeted a link to the fund and told reporters in Boston Monday, “I don’t think they should have been arrested, and that’s why I’ve been promoting a bail fund to support them. … They were protesting a racist, fascist, demonstration.”

Ocasio-Cortez, of New York City, tweeted a link and wrote, “One way to support the local LGBTQ community impacted by Boston’s white supremacist parade? Contribute to the Bail Fund for the activists who put themselves on the line protecting the Boston community.”

The bookstore didn’t respond to a request for comment on Monday.

The far-left group Antifa says it’s supporting nearly all of those people arrested, saying most of the defendants were protesting the parade in Boston on Saturday. Antifa — short for “anti-fascist” — has built up a reputation in recent years of showing up at protests and bringing chaos and destruction. Usually masked and wearing black, the members have allegedly initiated beatings, thrown urine and chemicals and committed vandalism in places like Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon. That’s prompted some to call for the group to be classified as domestic terrorists.

“We’re covered in black so when we attack these guys we can’t be prosecuted,” said Jon Crowley, a self-identified Antifa member who told the Herald at the parade that he felt violence was the only way to deal with the people marching in the parade, which went from Copley Square to City Hall Plaza. “They are fascists, 100%. How else are you going to get them to shut up?”

State Sen. Dean Tran (R-Fitchburg) tweeted on Monday, “It is time, federal, state, and local to make it illegal to cover your faces in public events and demonstrations. A danger to public safety and our police officers. No one or group is above the law.”

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