Speaker calls conservative rally in Boston ‘unplanned’

BOSTON — The Latest on a conservative rally and counter-demonstration in Boston and around the country (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

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. Thousands of counterprotesters had also gathered.

TV cameras show police vans escorting participants away, and angry counterprotesters scuffled with armed officers trying to maintain order.

Congressional candidate Samson Racioppi, who was among several slated to speak, tells WCVB-TV that he didn’t realize “how unplanned of an event it was going to be.”

Rallygoers had been met by counterprotesters who marched from to the Common. There have been some confrontations.

“Free Speech Rally” organizers have publicly distanced themselves from the white supremacists in Charlottesville on Aug. 12.

1 p.m.

Participants have left the location of a conservative activist rally, leaving behind thousands of counterprotesters.

Dozens of rallygoers had gathered on the Boston Common on Saturday, but then left shortly after the event was getting underway. It’s unclear if they will gather to rally somewhere else in the city.

Rallygoers had been met by counterprotesters who marched from the city’s Roxbury neighborhood about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) to the Common.

There have been some confrontations involving counterprotesters, including a group that grabbed an American flag out of an elderly woman’s hands, causing her to stumble and fall to the ground.

Organizers of the “Free Speech Rally” have publicly distanced themselves from the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who fomented violence in Charlottesville on Aug. 12.

___

12:20 p.m.

Confrontations are happening amid a gathering of counterprotesters and conservative rally participants in Boston.

Thousands of demonstrators marched Saturday from the city’s Roxbury neighborhood to Boston Common, where the “Free Speech Rally” is being held. Dozens of free speech rallygoers have arrived.

TV cameras showed a group of boisterous counterprotesters chasing a man with a Trump campaign banner and cap, shouting and swearing at him. Other counterprotesters intervened and helped the man safely over a fence to where the conservative rally was to be staged.

Black-clad counterprotesters also grabbed an American flag out of an elderly woman’s hands, and she stumbled and fell to the ground.

Organizers of the “Free Speech Rally” have publicly distanced themselves from the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who fomented violence in Charlottesville on Aug. 12.

___

11:30 a.m.

Thousands of counterprotesters have begun a mileslong march ahead of a conservative rally that’s getting underway in Boston.

Demonstrators started marching Saturday morning from the city’s Roxbury neighborhood. Organizers say demonstrators will march to Boston Common, where the rally is taking place.

Police say they’ll be out in force to keep the two groups apart.

Organizers of the “Free Speech Rally” have publicly distanced themselves from the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and others who fomented violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12.

Boston’s rally is the first potentially large and racially charged gathering in a major U.S. city since a car plowed into counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville, killing a woman and injuring many others.

Events are planned in cities across the country including Atlanta, Dallas and New Orleans.

___

10:25 a.m.

Demonstrators are arriving at a counterprotest ahead of a conservative rally that’s getting underway on Boston Common.

Democratic Boston Mayor Marty Walsh greeted counterprotesters Saturday morning outside Reggie Lewis Center in the city’s Roxbury neighborhood. Organizers say demonstrators will march to the Common.

Police say they’ll be out in force to keep the two groups apart.

Organizers of the “Free Speech Rally” have publicly distanced themselves from the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and others who fomented violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12.

Boston’s rally is the first potentially large and racially charged gathering in a major U.S. city since a car plowed into counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville, killing a woman and injuring many others.

Events are planned in cities across the country including Atlanta, Dallas and New Orleans.

___

12:30 a.m.

Conservative activists and counterprotesters are preparing for a showdown on Boston Common that could draw thousands a week after a demonstration in Virginia turned deadly.

Police say they’ll be out in force to keep the two groups apart. Boston’s Democratic mayor, Marty Walsh, and Massachusetts’ Republican governor, Charlie Baker, have warned that extremist unrest won’t be tolerated in this city famed as the cradle of American liberty.

Organizers of Saturday’s midday “Free Speech Rally” have publicly distanced themselves from the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and others who fomented violence in Charlottesville on Aug. 12.

Boston’s rally is the first potentially large and racially charged gathering in a major U.S. city since a car plowed into counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville, killing a woman and injuring scores of others.

Events also are planned Saturday in Atlanta, Dallas and other cities across the country.