Boston preparing as thousands expected at protests Saturday

People in Boston are heading into this weekend feeling a sense of angst.

The mayor said he has spoken with the Southern Poverty Law Center for guidance on how to handle events involving white supremacists.

Prior to the event, organizers of the free speech rally, mostly young white men, insisted their event was all about the freedom of expression.

A large counter-protest is planned.

Officials in Boston, Massachusetts, are bracing for possible confrontations as rival protests converge on the city centre on Saturday.

BRUCE GELLERMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, David. "Tomorrow should be all about like what happened after marathon, how the city came together to go against hate". If needed, they can send in at least 100 more.

Walsh also said that he didn't think granting Free Speech Rally organizers a permit was the greatest idea. "So I get it from them", Purcell said. "No matter how repugnant their views are". "Violent acts on the MBTA will not be tolerated in any manner and those who engage in such behavior will be dealt with swiftly". He stressed that they are not the same group who wrecked chaos on Charlottesville.

Extra security cameras have been installed at the bandstand where the free speech rally is taking place.

"Ignoring a problem has never solved it", Cannon said in a phone interview.

Governor Phil Scott issued a statement by video Thursday saying Vermont must stand up against racism and bigotry. Head of one of the organizing groups told CNN affiliate that they are libertarians and dismiss any kind of hate speech. And if we weren't there to direct things, then we're anxious that that would only be all the more risky.

Boston Police Commissioner Billy Evans confirmed that authorities would be "watching the crowd really closely".

GREENE: So is this supposed to be big?

By contrast, a counter-protest organized by Black Lives Matter, the ANSWER Coalition and other left-leaning groups boasts 12,000 RSVPs and an addition 25,000 expressing interest on its Facebook event page.

Earlier this year, he noted, there was fighting at a handful of pro-Trump rallies between alt-right extremists and anti-fascist, or "antifa", counterprotesters.

Critics of the Boston rally say they'll be going into the city to decry those groups who they believe have become more empowered in recent months. So yeah, it could be very big.

Evans said he didn't know how many people would attend, saying the department anticipated about 30,000 people at the Women's March but 175,000 turned up for that January 21 event. "Any signs on sticks. and know that any bag you bring may be subject to search". "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".


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