An estimated 40 thousand of counter protesters crammed Boston Common and marched through city streets Saturday morning in efforts to drown out the planned “free speech” rally that many feared would be attended by white-supremacist groups.
By 1 p.m., the handful of rally attendees had left the Boston Common pavilion, concluding their event without planned speeches. A victorious cheer went up among the counter protesters, as many began to leave. Hundreds of others danced in circles and sang, “Hey hey, ho ho. White supremacy has got to go.”
City officials said that at least 40,000 people participated in the counter protest, 20,000 of whom participated in a march across town. Tensions flared as police escorted some rally attendees out of the Common, prompting several physical altercations between police and counter protesters. Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said there were 27 arrests, primarily for disorderly conduct. He said no officers or protesters were injured and there was no property damage. Evans added that three individuals were wearing ballistics vests, one of whom was later found to be armed. It is unclear if those three are among the arrests.