BOSTON — In response to the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, Boston officials and Mayor Martin Walsh had a message on Monday for hate groups planning a rally in Boston this weekend: They are not welcome.
Not long after the press conference, the city’s memorial to Holocaust victims was damaged. The suspect was detained by bystanders until police arrived and took him into custody. The memorial was also damaged in June.
Police arrested a 17-year-old male from Malden who witnesses said threw what appeared to be a rock at the Memorial which shattered a glass panel. The juvenile will be charged with the willful & malicious destruction of property. The BPD’s Civil Rights Unit is also investigating the incident to determine if additional charges are pending.
Said Commissioner William Evans: “I’m grateful for the quick response and the community help which led to the swift arrest of the suspect responsible for the damage done to the Holocaust Memorial. Clearly, this type of behavior will not be tolerated in our city. And, in light of the recent events and unrest in Charlottesville, it’s sad to see a young person choose to engage in such senseless and shameful behavior.”
“We have a message for all the hate groups. Boston does not welcome you here. Boston does not want you here. Boston rejects your message,” Walsh said during a news conference. “We reject racism, we reject white supremacy, we reject anti-Semitism, we reject the KKK, we reject the neo-Nazis, we reject domestic terrorism and hatred. We will do everything in our power to keep hate out of our city.”
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker echoed Walsh’s statement calling the events that took place in Virginia over the weekend a tragedy and an act of terror.
“What happened in Virginia was a tragedy and an act of terror. A tragedy perpetrated by white supremacists that disturbed, as it should, Americans everywhere. As governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts I want to be clear that there is no place here for that type of hatred, period, that we saw in Virginia.”
The rally is planned for Saturday at Boston Common and hosted by Boston Free Speech, according to the Facebook page for the event.
Officials said plans are in place to handle the demonstration on Saturday to make sure the event is safe for all who attend.
“The state police along with the Boston police and other state, local and federal officials will work closely with community organizing groups and others to monitor the situation and take the necessary precautions to make sure that everyone plays by the rules and that we have a safe weekend in Massachusetts,” Baker said.
Officials said the group has not yet filed for a permit, and the city will decide what to do if the group does file for a permit.
“We will not tolerate any acts of violence, any misbehavior or any vandalism whatsoever. We are going to have a uniformed presence out there and we’re going to make sure the event goes off as smoothly as possible,” said Police Commissioner William Evans.
City officials said they have tried to reach organizers of the rally, but had not been able to connect with anyone as on Monday evening.