BOSTON — The City of Boston is asking everyone to help promote peace and stay safe Saturday amid planned rallies on the Common.
The message comes a week after opposing rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia became violent and one person was killed when a man drove a car into a crowd of people.
“We don’t want hate groups to come to our city or our state…we will not tolerate any incitements of violence,” Walsh said Friday morning.
Earlier in the week, the man behind the rally in Charlottesville withdrew his plan to speak in Boston amid opposition.
“They have the right to gather, no matter how repugnant their views are. But they don’t have the right to create unsafe conditions,” he said. “They must respect our city.”
The organizers of the events have agreed to specific rules, Walsh said. He also noted the city and state have been working with the Southern Poverty Law Center on how to handle hate groups, should they attend the rally.
“We all share exactly the same objective for [Saturday], that people have an opportunity to engage and gather peacefully and that everybody goes home safe,” Governor Baker said. “But make no mistake, the state will support the city’s efforts to ensure the public safety is preserved during [Saturday's] events.”
The SPLC says confronting hate groups at rallies only broadens the impact of their message and spreads their rhetoric.
“They recommend that people should not confront these rallies. We’re urging everyone to stay away from the Common,” Walsh said. “The children of our city are watching and I want everyone who goes to the Common [Saturday] to understand that.”
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