Major Cities Prepare for Massive Marches, Counterdemonstrations Across the Nation Today

A Look at Who Is Behind the Boston Free Speech Rally

A Look at Who Is Behind the Boston Free Speech Rally

As tens of thousands of anti-racism protesters descended on Boston to counter a Free Speech rally that many anxious would attract the same white supremacist, alt-right crowd seen in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Donald Trump again chose to respond to "both sides".

Photos showed crowded streets in Boston of counter protesters, a much larger crowd than those holding the free speech rally, who reported they were "huddled" in a gazebo.

Although rally organizers stressed in a Facebook post that, "We are not associated with any alt-right or white supremacist groups".

Boston is bracing for a far-right "free speech" protest today, only one week after violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

John Medlar of the Boston Free Speech Coalition, which organized the event, is a 23-year-old student at Fitchburg State College.

Libertarian congressional candidate Samson Racioppi, who was set to speak at the free speech event, told ABC affiliate WCVB-TV, "I really think it was supposed to be a good event by the organizers, but it kind of fell apart".

A counterprotester confronts a professed supporter of President Donald Trump at a "Free Speech" rally by conservative activists at Boston Common on August 19, 2017, in Boston.

Police maintained a buffer zone between marchers and rally participants - averting major incidents except for occasional clashes and shouting matches between the counterprotesters and supporters of Trump. "In return, they have to respect our city".

One moment of tension came when rally attendees ventured outside of the barriers and were promptly confronted by counter-protesters.

The violence in Charlottesville triggered the biggest domestic crisis yet for Trump, who provoked ire across the political spectrum for not immediately condemning white nationalists and for praising "very fine people" on both sides of the fight.

"It's joyful", described one MSNBC reporter about early, occasionally dancing counter-protesting crowds this morning.

Counter protesters packed the streets in Boston, where nine people were arrested, according to CNN, and crowds started to disburse fairly quickly. "We will not stand for discrimination, racism and Nazis".

"I'm a black woman living in Roxbury", Monica Cannon, a Black Lives Matter Boston activist said.

At 1:30 p.m., the Boston police department tweeted that the Free Speech Rally was over.

Demonstrators should even avoid using sticks to hold up their posters, Evans said.

He also explained why he had to issue a permit for controversial conservative event.

Rallies also were planned in cities across the country, including Dallas, Atlanta and New Orleans. The national mall can hold many, many more people than appear to have been in Boston, but the actual number of people who went to the Trump inauguration has never been certain.

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