Tens of thousands of counterprotesters expected at Boston ‘free speech’ rally

BOSTON (WHDH/AP) – 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.

“In all actuality, I don’t believe that what they exuding is free speech. I think it’s hate speech,” said counterprotester Angelina Camacho.

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.

“If this was really about free speech, we would have been invited from the beginning to have a platform,” counterprotester Monica Canton said.

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.

Counterprotesters say they hope for a peacefully rally.

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