Free-speech rally in Boston preempted by counterprotesters
by Mickey McLean
Posted 8/19/17, 04:33 pm
A free-speech rally in Boston was cut short Saturday when thousands of counterprotesters descended upon a bandstand on Boston Common where a series of speeches by conservatives promoting First Amendment protections was scheduled to take place. The Boston Free Speech Coalition, the group that organized the event, said it has nothing to do with white supremacists or racism and has no affiliation with organizers of last weeks’ violent rally in Charlottesville, Va., that left one person dead. “We are strictly about free speech,” the group said on its Facebook page. “We denounce the politics of supremacy and violence.” Counterprotesters, many of whom wore black with bandanas over their faces and chanted anti-Nazi and anti-fascism slogans, said they showed up because they were concerned white supremacists would be at the event, but only a few dozen supporters of the Boston Free Speech Coalition turned out. Police escorted coalition supporters out of the area, as some counterprotesters scuffled with officers trying to maintain order. TV news crews recorded a few ugly incidents, including counterprotesters swearing at and chasing a man with a Donald Trump campaign banner and hat and counterprostesters snatching an American flag from an elderly woman, knocking her to the ground. Rallies and counterprotests in reaction to Charlottesville were planned for other U.S. cities Saturday, including Dallas, Atlanta and New Orleans.
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Mickey is executive editor of WORLD Digital.