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Preparing For Saturday, Boston Refuses To Be The Next Charlottesville

Police have prohibited firearms, shields, sticks, flag poles and other weapons from the rally on Saturday.
Posted at 9:11 PM, Aug 18, 2017

Last weekend's violent "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, left three dead and 35 injured. This weekend, Boston officials want to make sure that doesn't happen in their city.

Taking advice from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh stressed that interacting with the upcoming "Free Speech Rally" might not even be worth it. 

"So we're urging everyone to stay away from the Common," Walsh said. 

The Boston Police Department is deploying around 500 police officers to the rally. If needed, they can send in at least 100 more.

During a public safety press conference, Police Commissioner William Evans assured members of the community that police would be using video cameras and undercover officers to keep an eye on the rally. 

"I want anyone who comes to know that we'll have eyes and ears all over that place" Evans said. 

Police have also prohibited items such as firearms, shields, sticks and flag poles from the Boston Common — where the rally is scheduled to be held. All those items were prevalent in Charlottesville. 

These heightened security efforts are starkly different from the efforts used last weekend. In response to the violence of the "Unite the Right" rally, many criticized law enforcement for acting slowly

Despite the security concerns — and Mayor Walsh's condemnation of the white nationalist movement — the Boston Free Speech Rally has a permit to organize for two hours on Saturday. 

For those who are thinking about breaking some rules, Walsh has this message to share: 

"if you're looking to start trouble, we're going to out-school you all tomorrow. Don't come to Boston. We don't want you here."