Published: Wed, August 23, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

US President Praises Boston Protesters for 'Speaking Out Against Bigotry, Hate'

US President Praises Boston Protesters for 'Speaking Out Against Bigotry, Hate'

And hours before the rally began, thousands of counterprotesters began marching around the city. Police are looking tough and smart! "Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before", Trump tweeted.

While the protest's goal was to be peaceful, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner Williams Evans said the city was prepared should violence break out. By noon, police estimated there were at least 15,000 of them, with more joining throughout the day. The violence culminated in the Virginia town when a Nazi supporter slammed his vehicle into a group of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and leaving 19 others injured. Two Virginia state troopers, Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, were killed as well in a helicopter crash during the response to the violence.

Organizers of Saturday's "Free Speech Rally" have publicly distanced themselves from the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and others who fomented violence in Charlottesville on August 12.

"I think as a country you have a right to free speech", said Boston resident Beth Chandler, "but there's a difference to me with hateful speech and free speech".

Trump has faced a torrent of backlash for repeatedly blaming "both sides" for the Charlottesville violence, drawing a moral equivalency between white nationalists and those who were protesting them.

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Counter-protestor organizers said they will march to Boston Common. The march was marked by anti-fascist and anti-racist messages, on signs and in chants, as well as support for the Black Lives Matter movement and other progressive causes. White supremacy has got to go!" and "No Trump!

President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon praising Boston Police and chiding "anti-police agitators".

Boston has seen a wide range of rallies and demonstrations in recent years.

Heavy equipment, including a Department of Public Works truck and tractor, was brought in to help control the crowds.

The large gathering ended as scheduled by 2 p.m. local time without any major incidents.

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