BOSTON (WHDH) - South Boston leaders are stepping up security ahead of St. Patrick’s Day as elected officials are requesting a meeting with the MBTA to lay out a security plan to prevent acts of hate.

This comes after a neo-Nazi group showed up at the 2022 event with a sign that read “Keep Boston Irish.”

Massachusetts state Sen. Nick Collins said the group is believed to have used buses and trains to spread their racist messages and to get to the city. And now they’re working with the state to make sure the T is ready.

And while free speech is allowed, the defacing of public property, which happened last year, is not.

“It’s illegal, it’s a crime, it’s a violation of state law and we want folks to know that,” Collins said.

Leaders are also calling on the public to curb excessive drinking for the event, which draws thousands to South Boston each year.

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