Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Thousands of people took to the streets of Boston on Saturday to protest hate speech a week after a woman was killed at a Virginia white-supremacist demonstration, and their shouts drowned out the “Free Speech” rally that sparked their march.

Organizers of the rally had invited several far-right speakers who were confined to a small pen that police set up in the historic Boston Common park to keep the two sides separate. The city largely avoided a repeat of last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where there were bloody street battles and one woman was killed.

The rally never numbered more than a few dozen people, and its speakers could not be heard over the shouts of those protesting it and due to the wide security cordon between the two sides.

Protesters surrounded people leaving the rally, shouting “shame” at them and occasionally throwing plastic water bottles. Police escorted several rally participants through the crowds, sometimes struggling against protesters who tried to stop them.

A Reuters photographer saw multiple marchers arrested.

Two male rally participants wearing Trump’s red “Make America Great Again” campaign hats attempted to enter penned-in protest area. They were swarmed by black-clad protesters, some with their faces covered, as the crowd screamed “go home” and “no hate” at them.

“They heard our message loud and clear: Boston will not tolerate hate,” said Owen Toney, a 58-year-old community activist who attended the anti-racism protest. “I think they’ll think again about coming here.”

Some 500 police officers had placed barricades, including large white dump trucks, to prevent vehicles from entering the park, the nation’s oldest. (Reuters)

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Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A counterprotester, left, holds a sign beside a man wearing a T-shirt bearing President Donald Trump’s name at a “Free Speech” rally by conservative activists on Boston Common, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Police prepare to escort organizers from the bandstand on Boston Common after a “Free Speech” rally staged by conservative activists, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston. One of the planned speakers of a conservative activist rally that appeared to end shortly after it began says the event “fell apart.” Dozens of rallygoers gathered Saturday on Boston Common, but then left less than an hour after the event was getting underway. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Counterprotesters stand on the periphery of a “Free Speech” rally staged by conservative activists on Boston Common, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)

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A man on the left with American flag, allegedly a member of white supremacist and a participant of ‘free speech rally’ which held at Boston Common, is being escorted by police out of the place after the rally and being surrounded by hundreds of counter protestors heckling at him in Boston Common. (Photo: Go Nakamura via ZUMA Wire)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Organizers stand on the bandstand on Boston Common during a “Free Speech” rally staged by conservative activists, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston, Mass. Counterprotesters stand along barricades ringing the bandstand. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A counter protester holds a sign with the words “Antifa” (anti-fascists) outside of the Boston Commons and the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Mass., Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Organizers depart a “Free Speech” rally staged by conservative activists on Boston Common, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston. One of the planned speakers of a conservative activist rally that appeared to end shortly after it began says the event “fell apart.”(Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Protesters face off with riot police escorting conservative activists following a march in Boston against a planned ‘Free Speech Rally’ just one week after the violent ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured on August 19, 2017 in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Protesters face off with riot police escorting conservative activists following a march in Boston against a planned ‘Free Speech Rally’ just one week after the violent ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured on August 19, 2017 in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A counter protester looks on during clashes with Boston Police outside of the Boston Commons and the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Mass., Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A crowd of counter protesters clashes with Boston Police outside of the Boston Commons and the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Mass., Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A photojournalist gets caught up between protesters and riot police escorting conservative activists following a march in Boston against a planned ‘Free Speech Rally’ just one week after the violent ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured on August 19, 2017 in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A crowd of counter protesters clashes with Boston Police outside of the Boston Commons and the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Mass., Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Protesters face off with riot police escorting conservative activists following a march in Boston against a planned ‘Free Speech Rally’ just one week after the violent ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured on August 19, 2017 in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Protesters face off with riot police escorting conservative activists following a march in Boston against a planned ‘Free Speech Rally’ just one week after the violent ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured on August 19, 2017 in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Protesters face off with riot police escorting conservative activists following a march in Boston against a planned ‘Free Speech Rally’ just one week after the violent ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured on August 19, 2017 in Boston Mass. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A counter protester is detained by Boston Police outside of the Boston Commons and the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Mass., Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A counter protester reacts during clashes with Boston Police outside of the Boston Commons and the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Mass., Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Counterprotesters march down Tremont Street heading toward the Boston Common for the “Boston Free Speech” rally and counterprotest in Boston, Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A man with the “Boston Free Speech” rally is escorted by the Boston Police Department from Park Square on the Boston Common in Boston, Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Counterprotesters march down Tremont Street to confront free speech demonstrators in the Boston Common during the “Boston Free Speech” rally and counterprotest in Boston, Mass., Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A counterprotester holds a photo of Heather Heyer on Boston Common at a “Free Speech” rally organized by conservative activists, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston, Mass. Heyer was killed last Saturday when a car, allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr., that plowed into a group of people during protests in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Thousands of counter protesters march to a planned ‘Free Speech Rally’ on Boston Common on Aug. 19, 2017 in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

State and local police stand near Boston Common where a “Free Speech” rally organized by conservative activists was being staged, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Thousands of counter protesters march down Tremont Street in response to an ‘Alt–Right’ ‘Free Speech Rally’ on the Boston Common in Boston, Mass., Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: Matthew Healey/EPA/REX/Shutterstock)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Protesters with opposing views face off at a “Free Speech” rally organized by conservative activists on Boston Common, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Counterprotesters march down Tremont Street to confront free speech demonstrators in the Boston Common during the “Boston Free Speech” rally and counterprotest in Boston, Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A counterprotester, left, confronts a professed supporter of President Donald Trump at a “Free Speech” rally by conservative activists on Boston Common, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Thousands of protesters prepare to march in Boston against a planned ‘Free Speech Rally’ just one week after the violent ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured on Aug. 19, 2017 in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A large crowd of people march towards the Boston Commons to protest the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Mass., Aug.19, 2017. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Thousands of protesters march in Boston against a planned ‘Free Speech Rally’ just one week after the violent ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured on Aug. 19, 2017 in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A large crowd of people march towards the Boston Commons to protest the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Mass., Aug.19, 2017. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Thousands of protesters march in Boston against a planned ‘Free Speech Rally’ just one week after the violent ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured on Aug. 19, 2017 in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A large crowd of people gathers ahead of the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Mass., August 19, 2017. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A protester stands during the “Boston Free Speech” rally and counterprotest on the Boston Common in Boston, Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Police wait with their bicycles before a planned “Free Speech” rally on Boston Common, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A large crowd of people march towards the Boston Commons to protest the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Mass., Aug.19, 2017. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A large crowd of people gathers ahead of the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Mass., Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

A large crowd of people march towards the Boston Commons to protest the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Mass., Aug.19, 2017. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Boston ‘free speech’ rally and counterprotest

Counter protesters march to a planned ‘Free Speech Rally’ on Boston Common on August 19, 2017 in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images)