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Newton rally to call for unity, condemnation of white supremacy

Newton rally to call for unity, condemnation of white supremacy

To see more, visit WBUR.

Several hard-right groups will gather on Boston Common tomorrow.

That's right. There's a rally planned for Saturday.

Event organizers said they will call for unity and condemn white supremacy.

A large counter-protest is planned. 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.

Bruce Gellerman, WBUR reporter.

BRUCE GELLERMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

Many along a single two-mile line of protesters shouted "shame!, shame!" as they moved toward the rally area.

"We don't support hate groups, we don't have any hate groups speaking at our event", Boston Free Speech organizer John Medlar said.

"While we maintain that every individual is entitled to their freedom of speech and defend that basic human right, we will not be offering our platform to racism or bigotry", the group wrote on Facebook Tuesday.

Walsh said the city had no choice but to issue a rally permit.

GREENE: Well, who exactly is organizing this? He stressed that they are not the same group who wrecked chaos on Charlottesville.




Security authorities in the city are anxious that neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan supporters will arrive at the protest, which was originally organized by groups calling themselves "libertarian" and "conservative".

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. It's right on their Facebook page.

Several other protests were being held across the country on Saturday, a lot of them in solidarity with Charlottesville and against racism and bigotry.

Here, a woman protesting against the "Free Speech Rally" holds up a sign in Boston.

GELLERMAN: And he's been meeting with police here in Boston.

Similar demonstrations and counter-protests are expected today in Atlanta, Dallas, and New York City.

GELLERMAN: Well, back in May, they had about just a handful of demonstrators at the rally and some counter-demonstrators. "The fringes on the left and right do not respect free speech".

"The point of this is to have political speech from across the spectrum, conservative, libertarian, centrist", said Chris Hood, an 18-year-old Boston resident who stood among a crowd of a few dozen people who joined the Free Speech rally. So yeah, it could be very big.

Although the rally itself is covered by a permit, the ANSWER, BLM and Antifa protests do not have permits. "This is the time you have to lean in, regardless if you want to or not".

Those just getting caught up on the national news after a hectic week in the worldwide circle might be wondering: What's happening in Boston? And so they're putting up barriers to separate the two groups.

He is not marching to fight free speech, he said, but, "hate speech is hate speech".

In the end, the free speech rally itself appeared to fizzle from lack of attendance, either because supporters made a decision to stay away or were unable to make their way through the massive numbers of protesters. That's WBUR's Bruce Gellerman.

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