Scenes from Boston's counterprotest

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.

See FULL STORY by Caitlin Dickson and Holly Bailey/Yahoo News

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Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

A woman waits for the kickoff of a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 18 in Boston. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

Protest signs hang on a fence inside Boston Common after a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

Members of the antifa, the left-leaning anti-fascist group, at a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

A man wears a shirt depicting African-Americans killed by police or other violence during a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

Scenes from a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

A “Make Racists Afraid Again” sign on the ground near the site of a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

Scenes from a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

A counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

A member of the clergy stands near the front line of a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

A member of “Black Lives Matter” at a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

A woman in an American flag pussy hat at a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

A pair of Guy Fawkes masks hang on a fence inside Boston Common, after a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

A woman peers through the window of a salon at participants marching in a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

An estimated 15,000 people march in a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

A young girl and her father at a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

Scenes from a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

A counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

Scenes from Boston’s counterprotest

A woman sits on a stoop during a counterprotest against a “free speech” rally staged by conservative activists Aug. 19 in Boston. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)