Counterprotesters hold signs before conservative organizers begin a planned “Free Speech” rally on Boston Common, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston. Police Commissioner William Evans said Friday that 500 officers, some in uniform, others undercover, would be deployed to keep the two groups apart. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Boston, Massachusetts, is currently hosting what CNN has labeled “dueling rallies.”
The first is a free speech rally held by a right-leaning group, the Boston Free Speech Group. Their invitation to the rally called for all “libertarians, conservatives, traditionalists, classical liberals, (Donald) Trump supporters or anyone else who enjoys their right to free speech.”
However, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced earlier this week, “Make no mistake: we do not welcome any hate groups to Boston and we reject their message.”
The counter-protesters, according to CNN, are at the ready, however, should a “hate group” show up in the city. The Boston Free Speech Group did clarify that it is not a KKK/Nazi/White Supremacist group, but there are plenty of activists out in Boston today carrying signs that decry the white nationalist movement.
Boston rally touting free speech: Live updates https://t.co/QADncMndHU pic.twitter.com/YcUcVGJOJP
— ilive (@iliveorguk) August 19, 2017
There haven’t been any signs that the supremacists groups are making their way to Boston, but the competing rallies are taking place one week after the Charlottesville march and protests turned deadly. According to one source at the State House counter-protest site, there have been rumors that white supremacists might show up, but as of posting time, there have been no incidents.
Boston police have some 500 police officers at the ready this weekend, with some in plain clothes mixed in with the two groups to help keep the “dueling rallies” from getting out of control.