20 August, 2017
Mayor Marty Walsh said he doesn't expect the same people who were at a violent white nationalist rally last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, to be in Boston this weekend, despite a couple of initial overlaps in invited speakers.
The organizers of Free speech rally earlier distanced themselves from any white supremacist and Neo-Nazi group or ideology. This weekend, Boston officials want to make sure that doesn't happen in their city.
Rallies also were planned in cities across the country, including Dallas, Atlanta and New Orleans.
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Some counterprotesters dressed entirely in black and wore bandannas over their faces. They chanted anti-Nazi and anti-fascism slogans, and waved signs that said: "Love your neighbour", "Resist fascism" and "Hate never made USA great".
Boston police and city officials had undertaken extensive preparations for the event, including ensuring that no one entered the area with weapons, homemade body armor, or any of the other unsafe objects used by white supremacists and some counterdemonstrators at past rallies, including in Charlottesville. The permit is for 100 people, though an organizer has said he expected up to 1,000 people to attend.
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Logan Smith, who is communications director for Progress NC Action, says the account had about 65,000 followers Saturday morning. Cvjetanovic said he decided a month ago to attend the rally because he strongly believes in his white heritage.
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Prior to the event, organizers of the free speech rally, mostly young white men, insisted their event was all about the freedom of expression.
"We're going to respect their right to free speech", Walsh said, but "they don't have the right to create unsafe conditions".
Governor Phil Scott issued a statement by video Thursday saying Vermont must stand up against racism and bigotry.
The violence in Charlottesville triggered the biggest domestic crisis yet for US President Donald Trump, who provoked ire across the political spectrum for not immediately condemning white nationalists and for praising "very fine people" on both sides of the fight.
Among those expected to speak are Kyle Chapman, a San Francisco Bay Area resident who has developed an online following using the moniker "Based Stickman".
Black Lives Matter said Friday that members from around the USA planned to march Saturday in Boston.
Silberberg said she is looking forward to the result of a review of how Virginia cities handle permits for demonstrations that was ordered by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe after Charlottesville, where right-wing marchers had a permit. He vowed to shut it down if anyone got out of control.