Boston ‘Free Speech’ Rally Ends Early As Thousands Of Counterprotesters March

Michael Dwyer/AP

A “free speech” rally in Boston ended early on Saturday afternoon without any of the planned speakers making remarks as thousands of counterprotesters marched through the streets of Boston.

The few “free speech”rally attendees who showed up to the Boston Common had left by around 1 p.m., and their departure was met with cheers from the crowd of counterprotesters, according to the Washington Post. Some of the protesters sang “Hey hey, ho ho. White supremacy has got to go,” as the rally attendees left, per the Washington Post.

Police escorted the “free speech” rally-goers out of the area in vans, according to the Boston Globe. As the rally attendees were loaded into the vans, some counterprotesters shouted “Make them walk!” while others chanted ““No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” per the Boston Globe.

As police removed the rally attendees, there were some clashes between officers and counterprotesters, but they were minimal and ended quickly, according to the Washington Post. Officers restrained some counterprotesters in zip ties, and law enforcement told the Boston Globe that some arrests for disorderly conduct were made.

Boston officials and police prepared for the worst in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville last weekend. Organizers of the “free speech” rally had distanced them selves from the white nationalists who attended the rally in Charlotte last weekend, but there was concern that white supremacists and neo-Nazis could show up to the Boston rally. The city planned to deploy 500 officers to help with crowd control as thousands of counterprotesters were expected to march during the “free speech” rally.

Police also set up barriers in the common, which separated the “free speech” rally attendees from the counterprotesters. Though the barriers largely prevented clashes, there were some scuffles between counterprotesters and Trump supporters, according to the Boston Globe.