A rally by right-wing demonstrators on the famed Boston Common, planned for Saturday, failed to register on Marty Walsh’s radar last week. The Boston mayor knew little about the Boston Free Speech Coalition, but the group invited two white nationalists to address the crowd. After last weekend’s “Unite the Right” event in Charlottesville, Va., in which neo-Nazis and white nationalists clashed violently with anti-racism protesters, Walsh and city leaders are rushing to make preparations they hope will keep the same sort of violence from happening in Boston, reports Governing.com.
The rally is part of a coordinated nine-city protest against tech giant Google’s decision to fire a software engineer after he circulated a controversial 3,300-word memo against diversity. Other protests are planned for Saturday in Atlanta, Austin, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Mountain View, Ca. Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice says, “The proposed rally should not move forward until Boston has a comprehensive public safety plan. We cannot be the next Charlottesville.” “I am not going to give away our game plan,” says Boston Police Commissioner William Evans. “We will have barriers; we will have pedal bikes; we will have plenty of assets to keep them at bay.”