Boston braces for rival protests week after Charlottesville

Boston braces for rival protests week after Charlottesville

Boston braces for rival protests week after Charlottesville

Following a largely peaceful demonstration in Boston on Saturday, Donald Trump called the protesters who gathered to counter a conservative "Free Speech Rally" in Boston Common "anti-police agitators".

City officials made no secret of their wish that marchers on all sides would have stayed away, given the level of violence that erupted in Charlottesville, where a counterprotester was killed.

Fencing and security cameras were installed on Boston Common's Parkman Bandstand Friday morning as police continue safety preparations ahead of Saturday's planned rally.

Officials are anxious the protest will attract white nationalists in the wake of the deadly demonstrations by white nationalists and counterprotestors in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.

The permit for the event has several restrictions including banning backpacks, sticks and anything that could be used as a weapon.

As recently as the 1990s, white nationalist groups held demonstrations in small towns that were spectacles but usually peaceful, said Will Potter, a University of MI fellow and journalist who tracks domestic terrorist groups and civil rights.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told reporters he has been in touch with the organizers and counter-protesters, who will be separated with barricades on Saturday.

Robb, in a brief interview with the Daily News, said Thursday the Knights Party has members in western MA near Springfield that plan on attending in support of free speech. The permit is for 100 people, though an organizer has said he expected up to 1,000 people to attend.

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At least 700 Boston and State Police officers will be involved in the effort, with more available as needed, according to state and city officials.

Shortly after 3:30 p.m. - when many downtown thoroughfares had started to reopen even as pockets of counterdemonstrators remained on the streets - Boston police via Twitter asked people to stop throwing "urine, bottles and other harmful projectiles at our officers".

"We will not be offering our platform to racism or bigotry", organizers said in a Facebook post earlier this week.

"I want anyone who comes to know that we'll have eyes and ears all over that place" Evans said.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who has vocally opposed the rally, joined counter-protesters in Roxbury.

Boston Free Speech, the group behind the rally, has invited a number of groups to speak.

"They have the right to gather no matter how repugnant their views are", Walsh said. "We are strictly about free speech".

"Unfortunately, I think there's going to be a few troublemakers here". "I'm confident we'll be safe, just going from the hotel to the bus to here, but all you can do is hope for the best".