Boston braces for rival protests week after Charlottesville — BBCI

Rallies also were planned in cities across the country, including Dallas, Atlanta and New Orleans.

Organizers of the rally on Facebook denounced the violence and white supremacist chants of the Charlottesville event. Counter-protests are now being planned.

Opponents had feared that white nationalists might show up in Boston anyway, raising the specter of ugly confrontations in the first potentially large and racially charged gathering in a major USA city since Charlottesville.

BRUCE GELLERMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, David. He is going to let a riot happen and tell the police to stand down.

GELLERMAN: Well, they didn't have much of a choice.

Police Commissioner William Evans said police met Wednesday with organizers of the rally and a "solidarity" march, which is also scheduled for Saturday, and reviewed the rules and regulations of getting a permit to hold a rally in the city. "Violent acts on the MBTA will not be tolerated in any manner and those who engage in such behavior will be dealt with swiftly". And are they some of the same groups that we saw in Charlottesville?

"We feel like we have a duty to see this through and make sure it is as organized and clean and coordinated and, most importantly, as safe as possible", FSU senior John Medlar told WCVB on Tuesday, adding organizers are telling protesters "not to bring overly inflammatory symbols" like swastikas or Confederate flags".

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. It's right on their Facebook page. ". we will not be offering our platform to racism or bigotry".

The Boston counter-protest is now perhaps the largest anti-racist protest this year. And if we weren't there to direct things, then we're anxious that that would only be all the more unsafe.

The city also banned participants from carrying weapons, sticks or flagpoles.

GREENE: So is this supposed to be big?

On the other side, no less than 10,000 people from different groups such as Black Lives Matter have confirmed their participation in the anti-protest on social media.

GELLERMAN: Well, back in May, they had about just a handful of demonstrators at the rally and some counter-demonstrators.

Only about 20-40 people showed up to attend the rally, many of them supporters of President Donald Trump.

"If anything gets out of hand, we will shut it down", said Mayor Marty Walsh at a press conference on Friday. So yeah, it could be very big.

Despite concerns after the events in Charlottesville, one counter protester said it's worth the risk to attend. "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". And so they're putting up barriers to separate the two groups. 'They don't have the right to create unsafe conditions.

The rally, which claims to be a "free speech" gathering, is supposedly open to all comers.

GELLERMAN: You're welcome, David.

  • Jon Douglas