BOSTON (CBS) – Mayor Marty Walsh sent a strong message that hate groups will not be welcome in Boston ahead of a planned “Free Speech Rally” that will reportedly take place on Boston Common next week.
The rally is slated for Saturday, though Walsh said it is being planned by a different group than that one that organized a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville that led to the death of one woman and injuries to 19 others.
Walsh said that “some group” is supposed to be in the city for a march, but added that no one has pulled permits with City Hall as of Sunday.
The Boston mayor said police are gathering information to see who the group is.
“We don’t need this type of hate,” said Walsh. “So my message is clear to this group. We don’t want you in Boston. We don’t want you on Boston Common. We don’t want you spewing the hate that we saw yesterday, and the loss of life.”
Walsh said there have been similar demonstrations in the past on Boston Common.
“Very small, but it’s a bad message,” said Walsh.
Boston Police Superintendent William Gross said on Sunday that police will be developing a plan throughout the week ahead of the latest planned rally.
“We’re going to send a strong message in Boston that we protest peacefully, using our voices of logic and not the ignorance of destruction,” said Gross.
“We’re going to be working together this whole week to send a message to everyone that’s heading to Boston, those that are of the mindset of white supremacy to those who understand we’re all God’s children – we’re working together. No violence.”
Gross said anyone engaging in violence will be arrested immediately.
Walsh said his initial reaction to President Donald Trump’s statement about the Charlottesville violence was that Trump left his comments too “open-ended.”
But Walsh said he was encouraged to see Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to open a federal civil rights investigation into the Charlottesville incident.
“Let’s hope they’re consistent. I think it would be great for the President to come out today with a clearer statement, particularly about the white supremacist neo-Nazi groups,” said Walsh. “I think he needs to separate himself a little bit from them, because I think there are a lot of people putting the two together.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports