VOA Reports on Competing Boston Rallies

VOA Reports on Competing Boston Rallies

VOA Reports on Competing Boston Rallies

Lapidus, in the email, said: "The university does not have any involvement in the Boston Free Speech event. They're young kids, not KKK, not white supremacists, they're young college kids", Kenny, a security guard, who refused to reveal his last name, said.

The people who had put on a rally - a small rally back in May, free speech people - you know, they had held one.

"We really made clear we don't want anyone hurt", Evans said.

"But they don't have the right to create unsafe conditions, so we're going to respect their right of free speech, in return, they must respect our city".

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Mainers from a number of anti-racism groups converged on Boston where police were preparing for big crowds. They chanted anti-Nazi and anti-fascism slogans, and waved signs that said: "Make Nazis Afraid Again", "Love your neighbor", "Resist fascism" and "Hate never made USA great".

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh had asked counter-protesters to avoid Boston Common, saying their presence would draw more attention to the far-right activists.

Organizers of the midday event, billed as a "Free Speech Rally", have publicly distanced themselves from the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and others who fomented violence in Charlottesville on August 12.

Officials said that more than 500 police officers, including undercover cops, will be patrolling the area. And in order to make sure it doesn't become a repeat of Charlottesville, the city has imposed some rules - no backpacks, no bats, no weapons.

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A speaker who addressed the counterdemonstrators condemned what many see as President Trump's tepid response to events last week in Charlottesville that led to the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. They were planning to hold a few separate rallies, and are against groups they consider are spreading hate speech.

Angelina Camacho, an organizer of the "Fight Supremacy!" counterprotest, which will feature demonstrators marching from the Reggie Lewis Center to the Common, said more than 10,000 people have said they'll join her group.

Whether anti-fascist groups like the one that confronted white nationalists in Charlottesville will attend, Camacho said, is unclear.

"Whenever they got loud enough for anyone over here to hear them, people booed them and drowned them out".

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"We will not tolerate any misbehavior, any violence, or any vandalism whatsoever", said Evans on Friday. "His offensive rhetoric and failure to condemn white supremacy in Charlottesville highlights a failure of the Trump administration to properly address issues that matter to people of color and promote unity and tolerance across our nation".

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