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Police arrested 33 people during dueling rallies in Boston

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Updated August 19, 2017 04:09 PM EDT

Although the "Free Speech Rally" was deemed "officially over" ahead of its official end time, thousands of counter-protesters still flooded the streets of Boston through the afternoon.

The Boston Police Department tweeted, asking those who remain to "refrain from throwing urine, bottles and other harmful projectiles" at officers.

The Boston Police Department said a total of 33 people were arrested during the rally, mostly for disorderly conduct and a couple for assaults on police officers.

"Overall I thought we got the First Amendment people in, we got them out, no one got hurt, no one got killed," Police Commissioner William Evans said at a press conference Saturday afternoon.

Updated August 19, 2017 02:09 PM EDT

Those who participated in Boston's "Free Speech Rally" are beginning walk away from the Boston Common, leaving behind thousands of counter-protesters.

Throughout the event, TV cameras showed police vans escorting participants away and angry counter-protesters scuffling with armed officers.

Organizers of the "Free Speech Rally" have publicly distanced themselves from the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who participated in Charlottesville's violent rally on Aug. 12.

Experts say although the official rally has ended, police still have to maintain peace as the dueling groups disperse throughout the city.

Updated August 19, 2017 11:04 AM EDT


Updated August 19, 2017 11:04 AM EDT
Updated August 19, 2017 10:26 AM EDT

Conservative activists and leftist counter-protesters are prepared to converge on Boston Common Saturday, just a week after a white nationalist Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly.

Police Commissioner William Evans said Friday that 500 officers will be deployed to keep the two groups apart.

The Boston Police Department tweeted Saturday morning saying, "If you're attending today's rally, be sure to leave the sticks & stones at home." Along with the tweet, was list of items protesters are prohibited from bringing to the Boston Common.

The Associated Press contributed to this update.

The city of Boston issued a permit Wednesday for a controversial "Free Speech Rally" that's scheduled to take place on Saturday.

Boston Free Speech Coalition spokesman John Medlar met with police Wednesday morning to work out a specific safety plan, Boston's CBS affiliate reports.

Medler told Boston's NPR station WBUR that his organization is in no way affiliated with those responsible for the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Medler assured reporters that no weapons or anything that could be used as a weapon will be permitted at the rally.

Previously city officials had encouraged rally organizers to reschedule their event in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville.

Wednesday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh addressed concerns regarding the upcoming rally.

“In our city, we’ve been dealing with (the) anticipation of what’s going to happen on Saturday,” Walsh said. “I ask everyone who comes to Boston Common on Saturday, you can have your free speech all day long, but let’s not speak about hate. Let’s not speak about bigotry, racism.”

Medler told WBZ NewsRadio's Carl Stevens that despite what people are expecting to come out of the rally, its purpose is to "denounce the kind of political violence that we have seen" throughout the country.

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Tuesday night a post on the Boston Free Speech Facebook page disavowed last weekend's violent rally that left one dead and 19 other injured.

"This Free Speech Movement is dedicated to peaceful rallies and are in no way affiliated with the Charlottesville rally," the post read. "While we maintain that every individual is entitled to their freedom of speech and defend that basic human right, we will not be offering our platform to racism or bigotry."

The "Free Speech Rally" in Boston is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. on Saturday.

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