One week after a white nationalist rally turned deadly in Charlottesville, Va., tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Boston to counter a “free speech” event staged by conservatives featuring speakers with extremist ties.
An estimated 15,000 people marched in a procession that was over a mile long at one point — winding its way toward Boston Common, the oldest park in America and the site of the conservative rally. Demonstrators were mostly peaceful, chanting and holding signs that denounced racism, white supremacy and President Trump, who sparked widespread criticism when he defended white nationalists who clashed with counterprotesters, describing both sides as equally violent.
Though Boston officials had fretted about potential violence, the free-speech rally was sparely attended — largely preventing a showdown between the two sides. Boston police said there had been less than 40 arrests, mostly for disorderly conduct when cops in riot gear pushed back protesters trying to block vehicles evacuating conservative demonstrators out of the park.
Holly Bailey, a Yahoo News correspondent, covered the counterprotests and documented the scene as demonstrators marched through Boston.