Anti-Racism Counterprotest Shuts Down "Free Speech" Rally In Boston

Anti-Racism Counterprotest Shuts Down

Anti-Racism Counterprotest Shuts Down "Free Speech" Rally In Boston

The rally that was scheduled to start at noon ended at around 1:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon (1730GMT), Boston Police Department declared on Twitter.

Protesters face off with riot police escorting conservative activists following a march in Boston against a planned "free speech rally" on Boston Common, on August 19, 2017.

Police Commissioner William Evans said Friday that 500 officers some in uniform, others undercover were deployed to keep the two groups apart.

WCVB-TV reported that the KKK's national director, Thomas Robb, said as many as five KKK members from Springfield and possibly more from Boston were planning to attend Saturday's rally.

Several protesters said they were unsurprised that the "Free Speech" event broke up early.

The alt-right event comes just one week after the so-called "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia which culminated in violence perpetrated by white supremacists, leaving one woman-Heather Heyer-dead and many more injured.

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Despite the group's rejection of white supremacists, ANSWER Coalition Boston, a local chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement, planned a counterdemonstration, which it dubbed "Fight Supremacy", to oppose the free-speech rally. "Free Speech enables "hate speech".

Conservative activists and leftist counterprotesters prepared for a confrontation on Boston Common that could draw thousands a week after a demonstration in Virginia turned deadly.

Trump has come under intense criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for his response to the events in Charlottesville.

Police estimated that as many as 40,000 people packed into the streets around the nation's oldest park. "Make no mistake: we do not welcome any hate groups to Boston and we reject their message", he said, adding: "Love, not hate".

Saturday's protests were mostly peaceful. "In return they have to respect the safety of our city", Walsh said. "We will not be offering our platform to racism or bigotry", organizers wrote in a Facebook post earlier this week. "And I'm very proud of the job they did".

"We all know the tragedy that happened in Barcelona".

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