On Saturday, one week following the high-profile white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia that left one anti-racist demonstrator dead and 20 others injured in a vehicular attack, a similar far-right event was scheduled to go down in Boston, Massachusetts. But this time, in terms of sheer numbers, the far-right rallygoers were met with a very different sight ― as shown in video from the Boston so-called "free speech" rally, the anti-racist demonstrators completely swamped and surrounded the opposition.
According to reports from the scene of the dueling protests, those opposed to the rally came out in far greater numbers than its actual attendees, a matter of hundreds versus thousands. Ultimately, the rally ended early, with the badly outnumbered far-right demonstrators escorted out of the park.
Of course, while it's one thing to hear that thousands of people turned out to protest ― in an overwhelmingly peaceful manner, as it happens, with a reported 20 or so arrests out of a reported crowd of somewhere from 30,000 to 40,000 people ― it's something else altogether to actually see it. And as the aerial footage from the scene at the Boston Commons embedded below shows, it's hard to overstate just how strongly people turned out in opposition to white supremacy.
As the video shot by Christopher Marino shows, the rally was contained to a relatively small space, and given a wide perimeter to physically separate it from the protesters. Reporting from the scene suggested that the difference in size of the two crowds was a matter of mere hundreds against thousands; some estimates had only 100 people actually present in support of the white supremacist cause.
President Donald Trump responded to the events in Boston with a pair of tweets praising law enforcement, and referring to "anti-police agitators." More than a hour later, amid some criticism to his initial reaction, he sent another one crediting the peaceful anti-racist protesters.
In this instance, the anti-racists clearly won the day, as much as anyone can be said to have won a protest. It isn't the last demonstration being planned by far-right demonstrators in the days to come, however ― such events are also scheduled to take place in the Bay Area next week, in the historically progressive cities of San Francisco and Berkeley, where they're sure to draw a similarly major response. The only question is what'll happen when the two sides convene ― while in Charlottesville it culminated in an act of deadly violence, Boston stayed relatively peaceful and calm throughout the proceedings.