Tension, Scuffles as Thousands Protest in Boston

Saul Bowman
August 23, 2017

A so-called "free speech" rally by far-right groups had been scheduled to run until 2 pm (1800 GMT), but a half-hour before that police escorted its participants-whose numbers appeared to be in the dozens-to safety past a throng of anti-racism protesters.

Her remarks followed rallies at Boston Common park and Google's corporate campus in NY which saw thousands of activists shouting anti-Nazi chants and carrying signs that read "racism is not patriotism" and "white nationalism is terrorism".

An estimated 20,000 people flooded the streets surrounding Boston Common - where the Boston Free Speech Coalition had organised a rally at the bandstand - to protest against the group. Shockingly, even President Trump was in support of counter protests against the group, after his initial comments did not address the issue of tolerating white supremacy in this country.

The president, Donald Trump, who has faced unyielding, and bipartisan, criticism after saying there was "blame on both sides" in Charlottesville, tweeted on Saturday that he wanted "to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate".

Trump added in a Twitter message that 'Our country will soon come together as one!'

Just in case anyone in the White House or conservative media tries to demonize these fearless people who stood up against racism, protester Danielle Williams said, "What brought me out here today?"


"We must continue to come together, united as Americans!" she added.

Organisers of the event, which had been billed as a "Free Speech Rally", had publicly distanced themselves from the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and others who fomented violence in Charlottesville on August 12. The day of violence started with clashes at a white nationalist rally.

In New Orleans chants of "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA" echoed throughout the French Quarter as thousands of people marched in a peaceful ― but loud ― protest against racism and white supremacy. "I want to thank all the people that came out today", the Democratic mayor said at the press conference.

Footage from the rally showed counter-protesters chasing a man with a Trump campaign banner and cap, swearing and shouting at him.

The rally was held just one week after a vehicle drove into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. The march was otherwise described as largely peaceful.

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