Activists in Brookline continue to push for more action following the Supreme Judicial Court's ruling that Gerald Alston, a Black firefighter who complained of racism in the workplace in 2010, was unjustly fired after he spoke up.

At a rally on Sunday sponsored by Brookline for Racial Justice and Equity and Brookline Budget Justice, around 100 of Alston's supporters focused on Select Board members Bernard Greene, Nancy Heller and John VanScoyoc, who they say appealed against Alston's case. Greene and Heller are up for re-election on Tuesday.

Speaking at the rally, Alston didn't hold back in his criticism.

"Make the change that you guys know you deserve," he said. "Make the change that you guys know you need, and let's get them out of here. That's a cancer to this town. That's a cancer."

It's the latest chapter in a saga that started when Alston's supervisor left him a voicemail that used the n-word.

The town fired Alston in 2016, after years of struggle between the two parties. But the Civil Service Commission ordered the city to reinstate him in 2019, after it found the town failed to adequately respond to acts of racism at the fire department. The town appealed that ruling.

Speaking to the crowd, one of the town's five Select Board members, Raul Fernandez, said Alston suffered at the hands of town officials.

"For it's part, [the] Town Meeting voted to apologize to Gerald in 2019 and voted to block funding to the town's appeal in 2020," Fernandez said. "Yet a majority of this board continues its assault on Mr. Alston."

Part of the activists criticism of Greene, Heller and VanScoyoc comes from the fact that they didn't comment on the SJC ruling. Organizers also called for an apology from the three members to Alston.

Greene and Heller did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In an email, VanScoyoc said he supported the decision from the state's highest court.

"I fully support compliance with the decision of the SJC and will work toward a resolution of any remaining disputes in the interests of justice for Gerald Alston and all parties, as well as the town of Brookline," VanScoyoc said. "The next meeting of the Select Board is Tuesday, May 11, at which time I look forward to deliberating future steps with my colleagues"

Speakng at the rally, Brookline resident Kimberley Richardson said that Brookline is separated by race and class. Richardson, who is Black, said the town has failed Alston.

"So now, Brookline, we have come to a crossroads," she said. "And the question is, will you continue to allow this town to be separated by race and class, or will you stand for change?"

Speaking to members of the town, Alston said that what happens now isn't about him.

"It's about y'all's legacy," he said. "Your grandkids, your kids, your nieces, your nephews, they can look back and say, 'My elders changed the way things are in Brookline.' So it's about y'all's legacy. It's about the town of Brookline's legacy."