Trump Praises Boston Protesters Against ‘Bigotry And Hate’

President Donald Trump speaks during a "Made in America," product showcase featuring items created in each of the U.S. 50 states, at the White House, Monday, July 17, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP

In a series of tweets Saturday afternoon, President Donald Trump said that there were “anti-police agitators” in Boston but also praised people who came out to protest “bigotry and hate.”

Trump was responding to protests in Boston earlier Saturday where thousands of counterprotesters came out to speak out against those attending a “free speech” rally on the Boston Common. The President’s comments on the protests in Boston were relatively measured compared to his remarks about the violence last weekend in Charlottesville, when he failed to fully condemn white nationalists.

Trump began his series of tweets sent over the course of a couple hours, by claiming that there were “anti-police agitators” out in Boston.

The “free speech” rally ended early, around 1 p.m., with limited confrontation between the rally-goers and the counterprotesters. But as police escorted out the rally attendees, some of the protesters did confront officers. Police said that they made a few arrests during the counterprotest. The Boston police department also said that some were throwing rocks and bottles, but did not specify whether they were rally attendees or counterprotesters.

After that tweet, Trump followed up with comments applauding the counterprotesters and arguing that sometimes protests are necessary for healing.

The “free speech” rally in Boston had been planned before the violence in Charlottesville a week ago. The organizers distanced themselves from white nationalists, but there was concern that white supremacists and neo-Nazis could show up to the rally. In anticipation of this, as well as a large counterprotest, the Boston police arranged a large presence and used barriers to keep the rally attendees separated from the counterprotesters.

However, the number of counterprotesters far outweighed the handful of people who showed up for the “free speech” rally. The rally ended early without any of the planned speakers making remarks.


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