HOUSTON (FOX 26) - You would’ve been hard pressed to find a religious or ethnic group NOT represented here. They came to speak against hatred and bigotry with one voice. Mayor Turner let it spill he'd heard a voice three weeks ago. The mayor of Charlottesville on the other end of the phone.
“Because he was concerned about what ultimately ended up happening in Charlottesville,” he said.
Charlottesville is on many minds, and no city is immune from rallies. HPD Chief Art Acevedo is quick to point out that outsiders brought most of the violence to Charlottesville. Organizers of the white supremacist rally have called what happened there a success, and they plan to build on it with similar rallies in other cities.
"We are prepared. We've got great intelligence. We've got a great special response group," said Acevedo.
He says they are always hearing internet chatter about proposed rallies. Some rallies have moved offline and onto the streets. Sunday demonstrators against the violence in Charlottesville and white supremacists squared off outside of Houston City Hall. A few weeks back, armed protesters showed up to protect the Sam Houston monument from a non-existent threat. Neither ended in violence. Acevedo says that was no coincidence and he plans to keep it that way.
"The second we find out about a protest we reach out immediately to the organizations, and we talk about the do's and don'ts, what we can tolerate and what we can't tolerate. We support first amendment activity about we can't criminal activity."
There is a “Free Speech” rally in Boston this weekend and there will be some of the same faces from Charlottesville there. We will see what happens.