Western Mass. Residents To Counter-Protest Boston 'Free Speech' Rally

Aug 18, 2017

The city of Boston is preparing for what is being called a free speech rally Saturday afternoon on the historic Common. Thousands of counter-protesters are also expected to show up, including some from western Massachusets.

Holyoke resident Rick Purcell and friend will be among a group that will meet in Northampton at 5:30 a.m. to carpool and then caravan to the Boston.

Purcell said he is going to the counter-demonstration because he wants to stand up to white supremacy. He said speaking out is in his legacy.

"My mother was part of the American Indian movement. My grandmother preceded her. So I get it from them," Purcell said. "There's right and there's wrong. What's happening in our nation now is wrong, and we have to stand up, and the only way to do that is to resist and fight back." 

A week after the violent rally in Charlottesville, Boston officials have added 500 police officers to keep the rallies separate. No signs, weapons, pets, bikes or grills will be allowed on the Common.

The nearby Swan Boats in the Boston Garden will not be operating, among other tourist attractions.