Conservatives host competing anti-political violence rallies

Two conservative groups will hold dueling rallies on political violence in Washington, D.C. Sunday.

The two rallies were initially supposed to be a single “Freedom of Speech Rally” at the Lincoln Memorial, but the involvement of white nationalist Richard Spencer frustrated some attendees, leading them to break off into a separate event.

The second rally, without Spencer, is the "Rally Against Political Violence", which will be held near the White House, according to a report by the Washington Post.

The “Freedom of Speech Rally” was organized by a Colton Merwin, a 19-year-old activist from Baltimore, who told The Post he understood the opposition to Spencer's involvement.

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“I can understand that to an extent, but ultimately it is about free speech,” Merwin told The Post. “They have every right to have a platform and I support their decision…They are still exercising their free speech to counterprotest a rally, but I think it’s counterproductive.”

According to the Facebook page for the event, the “Rally Against Poltical Violence” is headlined by President Trump adviser Roger Stone and will feature speakers like the son of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Michael Flynn Jr., and Mike Cernovich, known for pushing the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory.

About 400 people are expected to attend each event, The Post reported. 

The events were created in response to a production of Julius Caesar that depicts the stabbing of Trump, as well as the shooting at a GOP congressional baseball practice earlier this month that left five injured, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La).