The Latest: Fundraiser aims to counter 'free speech' rally
Aug. 19, 2017
BOSTON (AP) — The Latest on weekend rallies related to last week's Charlottesville, Virginia, protests (all times local):
A Boston charity is taking a page from opponents of neo-Nazi groups in Germany to counter a so-called free speech rally on Boston Common.
Union Capital Boston has launched "Boston Pledge Against Hate," an online fundraising drive asking people to donate $1 or more for every person who attends Saturday's controversial rally.
The charity's lead organizer, Eric Leslie, tells the Boston Globe the hope is that the more people that attend the rally, the more will be raised for groups opposed to racism and bigotry.
The money will go to groups including Black Lives Matter and the Council on American Islamic Relations.
Leslie says action taken by anti-Nazi organizers in Wunsiedel, Germany, site of an annual neo-Nazi pilgrimage, inspired the effort.
Meanwhile, political and religious leaders attended an interfaith vigil Friday night at a Boston temple ahead of Saturday's rally.
Dallas police are preparing for a rally against white supremacy and say they'll have extra officers on hand to avoid the kind of violence that wracked Charlottesville, Virginia.
Organizers of Saturday night's rally at Dallas City Hall Plaza say they expect thousands at the event, just a short walk to the city's Confederate War Memorial. On social media they called for residents with medical experience to attend as "peacekeepers" and supplement security.
Supporters of keeping the city's Confederate monuments have also posted on social media about a counterprotest, but it was unclear Friday whether that event would occur.
Dallas police said they would block driving access to the areas.
Mayor Mike Rawlings said this week he would request a task force to study the future of the city's Confederate monuments.
Boston's mayor and police commissioner say about 500 officers are being deployed to make sure there is no violence involving people attending a free speech rally and planned counterprotests this weekend.
Mayor Marty Walsh said Friday that officials "will not tolerate any incitements of violence" at the rally planned for Saturday on Boston Common.
The Boston Free Speech Coalition says its rally Saturday has nothing to do with white nationalism and they are not affiliated with the organizers of a rally in Virginia last weekend that erupted into violence and left one person dead.
But Walsh and other critics say many of the speakers invited to the rally "spew hate."
Organizers of a counterprotest expect as many as 20,000 to 30,000 people to join them on a 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) march.
Organizers of a counterprotest to what's being called a free speech rally in Boston say they expect as many as 20,000 to 30,000 people to join them.
Boston-area leaders of Black Livers Matter said Friday that they don't buy claims that the rally planned for Saturday is not about white supremacy.
The Boston Free Speech Coalition says its rally Saturday has nothing to do with white nationalism. It also says it's not affiliated with the organizers of a rally in Charlottesville last weekend that erupted into violence and left one person dead.
A coalition leader has said as many as 1,000 people could show up at its rally on Boston Common.
The counterprotesters plan a 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) march from Roxbury to the Common.
Another counterprotest group is planning a separate "Stand for Solidarity" rally near the Common.