Published: Sun, August 20, 2017
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

Thousands gather to protest Hub 'Free Speech Rally'

Thousands gather to protest Hub 'Free Speech Rally'

In order to keep the peace between conservative activists and leftist counter-protesters during a rally that could draw thousands of people to Boston Common, the city is deploying 500 police officers - some in uniform, others undercover, Williams said.

Police confined a small group of "Free Speech" protesters to the Parkman Bandstand on historic Boston Common as they blocked off the massive counter-protests, CBS Boston reports.

John Medlar, who said he is an organizer for Boston Free Speech, said the group has no affiliation with the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, reported.

Many wore stickers with the face of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who died when a vehicle was driven into a crowd of counter-protesters at last Saturday's far-right rally in Charlottesville.

Chris Hood, a free speech rally attendee from Dorchester, said people were unfairly making it seem like the rally was going to be "a white supremacist Klan rally".

Augustus Invictus, a notable conservative figure and planned speaker, reportedly encouraged people at May's free speech rally to arm themselves for a civil war. Vox estimated the counter protesters were conservatively 15 to 1 greater in number. They held signs with a variety of messages, from "Black Lives Matter" to "Respect Earth".

That aside, one thing was clear in Boston on August 19: There were definitely way more counter protesters there. "Nobody wants to say it, but I will say it right now".

The counter protesters were galvanized by the horrors in Charlottesville, where an accused Hitler admirer, James Alex Fields, allegedly rammed a auto into a crowd of people protesting a rally that included white supremacists and Nazis there.

"I believe in equality", Antonio Vargas, a 20-year-old student at Gordon College who joined the protest march, said to Reuters.

"We will not be offering our platform to racism or bigotry", organizers said in a Facebook post earlier this week. A large group of counter-protesters is also expected.

The permit issued for the rally on Boston Common came with severe restrictions, including a ban on backpacks, sticks and anything that could be used as a weapon.

No serious injuries or property damage was reported, police said, adding that the dueling demonstrations all went according to their plan. Evans said additional security cameras were set up.

Thousands of protesters are expected to attend rallies calling for the removal of Confederate monuments at cities across the country this weekend, including Dallas and New Orleans.

Other rallies are planned across the USA on Saturday, many of which are in response to Charlottesville, the movement to remove Confederate statues across the country and Donald Trump's controversial press conference on Tuesday.

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