Boston hopes to keep peace at 'Free Speech Rally'

Marty Walsh on Saturday's rally: 'I think we'll be fine'

It was a sudden change from the president, who has spent the past week equivocating blame around the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, which turned violent last weekend.

Koskinen said she and her husband had taken the girls to the several other marches earlier this year, and felt that it was important to show support for an event that was particularly important to people of color - especially since Elle will soon start kindergarten at a private school that is less diverse than the South End neighborhood where they live. "We are out here to add an extra body to the numbers of those who resist", said Katie Zipps, who travelled from Malden, north of Boston, for the counter-protest.

Police in the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts ramped up security ahead of a controversial "Free Speech" rally and counter-protests, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the site of events on Saturday.

Some counter-protesters dressed entirely in black and wore bandannas over their faces.

In the wake of Charlottesville, all eyes are turning to Boston, which is scheduled to hold a "Free Speech Rally" on Saturday afternoon.

The Boston Free Speech Coalition, the group that organized Saturday's rally, had until recently planned to include speakers with ties to white nationalism.

Some 500 police officers were deployed to the city to avert possible confrontations at the event.

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Police officers "expect good behavior but will be prepared should it go bad", CNN quoted one law enforcement source at the Boston Police Department as saying.

"There have been questions about why we granted a permit for the rally", Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said on Friday. Counterprotester Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a auto plowed into a crowd of anti-racism advocates gathered to oppose the "Unite the Right" rally there.

Organizers of Saturday's rally claimed they denounced the white supremacist message and violence of Charlottesville and said their event would be "peaceful".

The bloody clashes which led to three deaths and more than a dozen injuries in Charlottesville, ratcheted up racial tensions across the country. Others carried a large banner that read: "SMASH WHITE SUPREMACY". He has been venerated as a heroic figure in the South.

Events are planned in cities across the country including Atlanta, Dallas and New Orleans. "If there were Nazis here, I'd be protesting against them".

The Movement for Black Lives is calling on those so moved to partake in pointed demonstrations at places it deems "institutions that maintain white supremacy,"so that could be like, anywhere".

One eyewitness told a surprised MSNBC host Alex Witt that as few as 20 people actually attended the Free Speech Rally, with at least some apparent Trump supporters blocked by Silly String-spraying counter-protesters (an image familiar from last Sunday's rally in Seattle).

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