OLD TOWN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – Several students from the University of Maine are set to join counter-protests at the ‘Free Speech’ rally in Boston Saturday.
Thousands of protestors are expected to descend on the city. The students said they are prepared for the worst as the stand up against the right-wing demonstrators.
"We're definitely nervous,” Kirsten Daley said.
The 21-year-old even packed pepper spray as she stuffed her overnight back in her apartment. She said she is prepared for violence.
"Maybe I will get hurt if I go to this, but I need to go to this,” Daley said. “I need to defend the things I believe in, and I'm sure these men feel the same way. I'm 100-percent sure they feel the same way."
Daley said she and her friend are making the four-hour trek south early in the morning to get to the rally before it starts at noon.
The group plans to join in the counter protest, that city and law enforcement officials are anticipating to be heated and potentially violent.
Daley said it is not something being raised in Aroostook County prepared her for.
"Maine is a very sheltered state and that's not always a bad thing,” she said. "I grew up in Limestone, Maine. I grew up in an entirely French community—an entirely white community—so I have a lot different experience than someone growing up in Baltimore or Chicago would have."
As the president of the Black Student Union at the University of Maine, Daley is known for being outspoken on issues of race and equality on campus. But joining thousands in what could be a heated and potentially violent rally in in the city of Boston is very different.
"It's hard. It's scary, but you have to do that because if you're not your silence gives them encouragement,” Daley said.
When asked what would fix all of the divisiveness Daley responded:
“If I had the answer. I wouldn't be sitting here. We would have been done this if I knew how to fix this."
NEWS CENTER reached out to several individuals and conservative groups in the state who said they were planning to take part in Saturday’s rally, but no one would agree to go on camera.