Boston Mayor thanks counterprotesters for coming to city
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Boston's mayor is thanking the thousands of counterprotesters who took over the the city's streets Saturday in opposition to a conservative rally. 

"I want to thank all the people that came out to there that message of love, not hate," Mayor Marty Walsh (D) said. "To fight back on racism, to fight back on anti-Semitism, to fight back on the supremacists that were coming to our city, on the Nazis that were coming to our city.

"I want to thank everyone that came here and expressed themselves in such a positive, great manner today," he added.

Thousands of counterdemonstrators turned out Saturday to protest an event billed as a "Free Speech Rally." The demonstrations came a week after violence erupted in Charlottesville, Va., as white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups gathered in the usually quiet college town. One woman died and others were injured when a car allegedly driven by a man linked to white nationalist groups plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters. 

The group that organized the rally in Boston, the Free Speech Coalition, had until recently planned to include speakers with ties to white nationalism. But as tensions escalated in the wake of the Charlottesville demonstrations, the group has publicly distanced itself from hate groups. 

Still, the noon event drew scores of counterprotesters, who voiced concern that the "Free Speech Rally" would give a platform to racist groups.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE, who came under fire this week for his statements on Charlottesville, praised the counterprotesters in Boston, who he said were "speaking out against bigotry and hate."