White nationalist contacted about Boston rally

by Abel Hampton August 20, 2017, 0:09
White nationalist contacted about Boston rally

Hundreds of police officers were positioned around a Boston park where a group plans to hold a "Free Speech" rally with right-wing speakers on Saturday, a week after a woman was killed at a Virginia white-supremacist protest.

More than 500 police officers will be on hand for the Boston Free Speech Coalition's event so that "we don't have an incident ... like last week in Virginia", Mayor Marty Walsh said Friday. Others held a banner reading: "SMASH WHITE SUPREMACY".

"On May 13, a group of veterans, ex-police, Tea Party Republicans and young people affiliated with the self-described "alt-right" - a conservative faction that mixes racism, white nationalism, anti-Semitism and populism - gathered around the Common's historic Parkman Bandstand".

Eight arrests were reported, but the protests were said to take place without any major incidents and ended at around 1:30 p.m. local time. You know, they have a right to peacefully assemble.

However, Thomas Robb, national director of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, told the Herald he doesn't believe the members will be disruptive, and had nothing to do with the violent protests in Charlottesville. "We're going to respect their right of free speech".

"We don't want a repeat of what happened in Charlottesville", said Evans, who discouraged people from bringing backpacks or items that could be used as weapons.

"They say that interacting with these groups just gives them a platform to spread their message of hate", the mayor told reporters.

On Facebook, 12,000 people have RSVP'd to the event called "Fight Supremacy" - just one of a handful of events planning to protest the rally. "They might be your next door neighbor or Cub Scout leader", Robb said.

Later Saturday afternoon, Boston's police department tweeted that protesters were throwing bottles, urine and rocks at them and asked people publicly to refrain from doing so.

Counter-protesters will also be demonstrating on the Common, including those marching from Roxbury. "From that stage about 10 years ago, Barack Obama was running for president of the United States of America and we began to imagine the idea of our country with its first black president", he said. "We do not support groups or individuals that infringe upon others' rights, espouse hate speech, or commit acts of violence" and that the institution has "zero tolerance for bigotry and violence".

We get reaction from the Greater Boston community and those participating, and staying away, on Saturday.

"We will not tolerate any misbehavior, any violence, or any vandalism whatsoever", said Evans on Friday.

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