You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Protesters gather outside Romney appearance in Roxbury

Candidate says that’s the ‘nature of politics’

Protesters stood across the street from the business where Mitt Romney gave a speech Thursday afternoon.

Essdras M. Suarez/Globe Staff

Protesters stood across the street from the business where Mitt Romney gave a speech Thursday afternoon.

As Mitt Romney’s motorcade pulled up to a Roxbury truck repair company Thursday, a group of about 60 protesters across the street offered a boisterous welcome.

“We’ve got to feed our children!” they chanted. “We’ve got to pay our rent! Ask Mitt Romney where the jobs went!”

Continue reading below

In addition to spurring a protest, the campaign stop at Middlesex Truck & Coach also brought reporters from across the country, as well as political operatives from both parties, to a quiet sidestreet lined with garages and warehouses.

The stir amused Bob Cormier, who works at a lumber yard down Gerard Street from Middlesex.

“I don’t see too many votes on this street,” said Cormier, 69.

Continue reading it below

That didn’t stop politicians from trying to score quick points, however. City Councillor Tito Jackson, who represents Roxbury, stood with protesters and offered Romney a sarcastic welcome.

“I’m very happy that the former governor found his way back to Roxbury,” Jackson said in a sidewalk interview. “He was here very few times when he was governor. And what we found when he was governor was broken promises.”

Protesters said they had mobilized quickly after learning of Romney’s early afternoon appearance in the late morning. The hasty nature of the demonstration didn’t seem to quell the passion of protesters like Nicholas Smith, a Roxbury resident who said Romney’s economic strategy would hurt the neighborhood.

“He wants to get rid of teachers and firefighters and police officers and social services that people in Roxbury need,” said Smith, a community organizer. “People in Roxbury go to work every day, and they’re willing to work, but if there’s no jobs, we’re going to be a community that’s hurting.”

Johnny Mastrocola, who appraises trucks for the company Romney visited, said he disagreed with the protesters.

“There’s plenty of jobs out there if you want to get a job,” Mastrocola said.

At a McDonalds near the campaign stop, Keith Patton ordered lunch for his wife, who is being treated at nearby Boston Medical Center.

Patton, who lives near Gerard Street, said he felt Romney’s policies would help the rich, not Roxbury residents.

Thursday’s campaign stop did not change his mind, he said.

“I’m fine with him visiting the neighborhood,” he said. “But no thanks for president.”

The neighborhood near Romney’s visit sees a lot of drug-related crime, said Daniel Cherry, who lives and works across Massachusetts Avenue from Gerard Street at New Market Pizza & Grill.

Just Wednesday night, someone triggered the alarm trying to break into the restaurant, where Cherry works as a delivery driver, he said.

Cherry said he wishes politicians would try harder to fight crime in the area, and he said Romney’s visit came as a pleasant surprise.

But Cherry, who doesn’t plan on voting in November, said he expected little to come from the campaign stop.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen when he becomes president, but I doubt he’s going to remember Mass Ave.,” Cherry said.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.