Thousands took to the streets of Boston to protest right-wing activists hosting a ‘free speech’ rally that also occurred on Saturday.
You were only able to see a small about of attendees as an estimated 15,000 anti-fascist protesters chanted loudly as they walked towards Boston Common. The organizers had made it a point to distance themselves from the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and those who had provoked violence in Charlottesville last week.
These protesters chanted anti-Nazi slogans while waving signs condemning white nationalism.
The small right-wing group was placed within barricades which they huddled together as the thousands upon thousands of counter-protesters drowned them out. After only an hour, a few dozen who showed up for the event left as police escorted planned speakers from the park.
Boston had gotten ready for what could have been another violent day in America. At least 500 police officers manned the streets to keep the peace. Streets were closed around the ‘free speech’ rally to prevent any deadly car attacks that could have taken place.
Sticks for signs were also outlawed as they were considered weapons and all food vendors in Boston Common had to leave the area.
Tensions rose around 12:30pm as a group of counter-protesters began chasing a man with a Trump cap and banner, shouting and swearing at him. Other protesters stepped in and helped the man to safety on the other side of the fence.
It’s unclear if the ‘free speech’ rally will take place at a different time somewhere else in the city.
An 18-year-old resident said “The point of this is to have political speech from across the spectrum, conservative, libertarian, centrist. This is not about Nazis. If there were Nazis here, I’d be protesting against them.”
One of the event’s organizers said that the gathering was not just a right-wing rally but rather a forum for all views and opinions. “We want people to come away with good arguments, thinking maybe, ‘Hey that’s interesting, I hadn’t considered that before.’”
What do you think of the counter-protesters?