There were two rallies in Boston, Massachusetts on August 19: A rally that alt-right members were calling a “free speech” event, and a counter protest against Nazis and white supremacy.
As people on both sides flooded into the city, things grew tense pretty quickly. One video circulating on social media showed people dragging a woman who was carrying an American flag:
The rally didn’t last very long, and there were many more counter protesters.
People proclaimed it a victory for anti-hate, although CNN reported that “tense scenes” erupted. CNN reported that at least nine people were arrested who appeared to be counter demonstrators.
Tensions have been high since the Charlottesville, Virginia “Unite the Right” rally designed to protest planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Counter protesters also showed up there, and one of them, Heather Heyer, a paralegal, was run over by a car allegedly driven by a white supremacist and Hitler admirer named James Alex Fields. Since that time, President Donald Trump has been strongly criticized for not immediately calling out the Nazis by name and for saying there were good and bad people on both sides when he later did so. “A Facebook page purportedly linked to the Boston rally has sought to distance itself from last weekend’s white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville,” CNN reported. The organizers, according to CNN, invited “libertarians, conservatives, traditionalists, classical liberals, (Donald) Trump supporters or anyone else who enjoys their right to free speech” to protest.
Dueling protesters, including those organized by Black Lives Matter, showed up to protest against Nazis and white supremacy.
An aerial view showed that the counter protesters in Boston were a large crowd. They were shouting anti Nazi slogans.
People protested Nazis in many different ways. According to CNN, they carried signs that read things like “”No Trump. No KKK. No racist USA,” “Americans against hate,” “Hey hey, ho ho, white supremacy has got to go,” and “Black Lives Matter.”
Fox News reported that thousands of people showed up to counter protest.
People at the scene wrote on Twitter that the right-wing protesters were dramatically outnumbered by the counter protesters in Boston.
Some of the protesters said the right wing protesters were huddled together and waiting to see if they had police protection.
That same man posted a video alleging crowds were violent. Others posted that they were witnessing peaceful crowds.
CNN reported that police worked hard to keep demonstrators and counter-demonstrators apart to help prevent conflict.