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Proud Boys to rally Saturday in Grand Rapids

Counter-protesters are being encouraged not to engage the group.
Members of the Proud Boys, including organizer Joe Biggs, third from right, march across the...
Members of the Proud Boys, including organizer Joe Biggs, third from right, march across the Hawthorne Bridge during an "End Domestic Terrorism" rally in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019.(AP Photo/Noah Berger, file)
Published: Jul. 10, 2021 at 11:47 AM EDT
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WJRT) - (7/10/21) - Local leaders in Grand Rapids prepared for potential violence over the weekend as the Proud Boys planned to rally there.

The far-right extremist group was expected to gather on Saturday at Ah-Nab-Awen Park.

Kent County Commissioner Robert Womack spoke about the rally.

“My first thought is that it’s not good, but they do have freedom of speech. So, I’m sure they’ll be putting their hate messages across the United States whenever they have the opportunity.”

Womack said the City of Grand Rapids did not give the group a permit. He said they would be allowed to meet at the park in the First Amendment rights. The Proud Boys would not be able to have vendors or use any amplified equipment. But megaphones would be allowed.

Meanwhile, counter-protesters were encouraged not to engage the group. Womack said it would not make an impact.

“They’re going to hate us before the rally, during the rally, after the rally. You’re not going to change their mind.”

Womack asked counter-protesters to let the police handle any potential problems during the rally.

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