Counter-Protestors Are Gearing Up For The Boston "Free Speech" Rally

by Morgan Brinlee

Thousands are expected to attend counter-protests in Boston this weekend to oppose a right-wing "free speech" rally scheduled to take place only a week after a white nationalist rally turned violent in Charlottesville. If you're curious about the counter-protestors, you might wonder: What is ANSWER Coalition Boston?

In short, ANSWER Coalition is a local chapter of a larger protest group largely focused on anti-war and civil rights issues. In the wake of the violence in Virginia, various groups and organizations have responded to the upcoming "Boston Free Speech Rally," which was organized by a group that refers to themselves as "a coalition of libertarians, progressives, conservatives, and independents," by hosting vigils, counter-protests, and anti-hate rallies. Among those organizing counter-protests is ANSWER Coalition Boston, which plans to hold "Stand for Solidarity" at the Massachusetts State House.

"It went from a few hundred to well over 1,000 to now roughly 3,000 pretty quickly," ANSWER Coalition Boston organizer Nino Brown told NBC News about the rapidly growing interest in the "Stand for Solidarity" event. "There are about 10,000 interested in our event, according to Facebook."

A Facebook page for ANSWER Coalition Boston's "Stand for Solidarity" bills the event as "a counter demonstrative rally" organized in response to the upcoming "Boston Free Speech Rally." "Our coalition believes that it is crucial to not only vocally oppose these grass-roots led, far-right mobilizations, but that local communities must unite to resist the ways that white supremacist ideologies are validated, re-enforced and perpetuated by legislation and policy on a state and local level," the group wrote on the Facebook event page.

A series of speakers "from organizations involved in the local struggle against white supremacy" are reportedly scheduled to speak on "how individuals can get involved in these initiatives" as part of the rally.

More to come...