Choosing not to repeat history the Mayor of Boston is taking the matter seriously…
A Free Speech Rally is taking place at Boston Common on Saturday but, in an effort to ensure the safety of all the Mayor has laid down some strict guidelines. The group organizing the rally does not have any ties to the KKK and denounced the violence last weekend. CBS Boston reports:
The mayor said he has spoken with the Southern Poverty Law Center for guidance on how to handle events involving white supremacists.
“They say that interacting with these groups just gives them a platform to spread their message of hate,” said Walsh. “They recommend that people should not confront these rallies. So we’re urging everyone to stay away from the Common.”
A total of 500 police officers will be present at the rally, and several hundred more are available if necessary.
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.
The permit allows rallygoers to begin setting up at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The rally is expected to begin at noon.
“There have been questions about why we granted a permit for the rally tomorrow,” said Walsh. “The courts have made it abundantly clear. They have the right to gather, no matter how repugnant their views are. But they don’t have the right to create unsafe conditions. They have the right to free speech. In return, they have to respect our city.”
“At the same time, we can’t look away. The children of our city are watching, and I want everyone who goes to the Common tomorrow to understand that. The young people of our city are watching TV, are following this. We have to make it clear what we stand for in the City of Boston.”
“There’s been no talk of any Ku Klux Klansmen at all,” Walsh said.
No weapons, sticks, or flagpoles will be allowed in the area. A full list of prohibited items is available on the Boston Police website.
Boston Common vendors have been asked to close for the day. As a precaution, the Frog Pond and swan boats will be closed as well.
There will be zero-tolerance for any violence tomorrow. We will not tolerate any misbehavior, any violence, or any vandalism whatsoever,” said Evans.
Monica Cannon, the founder of a group called Violence In Boston that is among the sponsors of the Fight Supremacy counter-protest, held a press conference on Friday.
“I’m a black woman living in Roxbury. I don’t have the privilege of ignoring this problem,” she said. “For many years I feel like they ignored the problem. Ignoring a problem has never made it go away. I think it’s an obligation morally, but as a community member also to resist it.”
So on Saturday afternoon, all eyes will be on Boston and hopefully, both sides can protest peacefully. It is good to see that the Mayor of Boston is taking the matter seriously.
Source: CBS Boston