Thousands of Counter-Protesters Showed Up to Drive Alt-Right Rally Out of Boston

One week after a nation was shaken up by a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, an alt-right rally in Boston was effectively stopped after thousands of counter-protesters hit the streets to let the group know they weren't welcome in their city.

A so-called “free speech rally” was meant to take place at Boston Common, a public park at the center of the Massachusetts city. According to a Facebook post for the rally, the speakers were expected to include Joe Biggs, a former employee of right-wing conspiracy site InfoWars, as well as Kyle Chapman, the founder of an alt-right “fight club” organized specifically to fight counter-protesters in the streets.

But it never appeared to get off the ground, and the site of the protest was almost completely absent of people willing to stand up and represent the alt-right, just one weekend after Heather Heyer was killed by a neo-Nazi terrorist in Virginia.

Another man who was scheduled to speak at the rally claimed to be shocked by how unorganized it was. “I didn't realize how unplanned of an event it was going to be,” said Samson Racioppi,. “It kinda fell apart.”

This could be explained by the show of force from the other side that showed up. An estimated 15,000 people, many of them chanting anti-Nazi slogans and openly shaming supporters of Donald Trump, made their presence felt. The message was pretty clear: the intolerant will not be tolerated.

They appeared to wildly outnumber members of the alt-right, and through their presence alone, they shamed and intimidated open Trump supporters into hiding symbols connecting them to the President.

The few protesters who did show up would eventually run away with their tails between their legs. Several different people in attendance at the rally alluded to Nazis and white supremacists taking refuge in Boston Police vehicles, and the local PD was tasked with transporting them to an unidentified safe area somewhere else in the city.

Scheduled to last from 12:00 p.m. local time until 2 p.m., Boston Police declared the event was over at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled end, and other reports from the ground claimed the protesters started fleeing the area as early as 12:45 p.m.

The overwhelming sentiment from the Boston crowd was a rejection of the beliefs that led to the death of Heyer one week prior. The fight against racism, specifically against neo-Nazis and their ideals, was even given a Boston-themed touch up by some of the attendees.

boston nazis protest
Image via Twitter/@advil

While the counter-protest will not erase what happened in Charlottesville, it did make a lot of people around the country feel better about America, if only for a brief moment. Messages of support poured in from all around the world, cheering on the people who hit the ground and made their voices heard.

The best news of the day? The protests remained mostly peaceful. Aided by counter-protesters who served as a wall between the two sides, peace was kept between the protesters and counter-protesters for the most part.

It wasn't all so good, however. Police commissioner William B. Evans told reporters that 27 arrests were made in the crowd of about 40,000 people. Evans also revealed that bottles filled with urine were thrown at police officers during the protests.

The event's organizers have not yet indicated whether or not the disbanded protest will be rescheduled. 

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Man Who Suffered Eye Damage During Eclipse in 1962 Warns Others Not to Look Up

In 1962, when he was 15-years-old, a guy named Lou Tomososki was walking home from his high school with a buddy when they decided to stare up at the partial solar eclipse occurring overhead. Though they only looked at it for a few moments, the damage that Tomososki's eyes suffered as a result of that decision was permanent. Tomososki told Today that since then he has seen flashes in his vision, similar to those that you would see for a minute or two after having a flashbulb go off in your face. He also said that the retina in his right eye was burned, causing a partial blind spot in the center. Five-and-a-half decades later that problem hasn't changed.

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“It’s going to be over real quick and it’s not worth taking a chance,” he said to KGW. “Millions of people out there are going to be looking out at it… How many of them are going to say, ‘Something happened to my eyes? That makes me sick.” He also said that he wished he had been informed of the dangers of staring into a solar eclipse back when it could've actually helped him.

Now, for those of you still debating whether to look at the sun without proper protection, here's him detailing his eye injury. “It doesn’t get any worse and it doesn’t get any better,” he said. “You know how the news people blur a license plate out? That’s what I have on the right eye, about the size of a pea, I can’t see around that.”

Additionally, Dr. G. Baker Hubbard of the Emory Eye Center in Atlanta spoke to Fox 5 about the dangers of glancing at the sun in the midst of the rare occurrence. “When you partially obscure the sun with the moon, it’s not so bright, and it’s not so painful to actually look at it,” Hubbard said. “But, even though it’s not painful, those harmful rays are still getting in your eyes and focused right onto the center of your retina, and that’s where it does the damage.”

On Monday you'll get your chance to see a solar eclipse for yourself. But, really, who gives a shit? It's rare but it's still just the sun, you'll see cooler things in your life. Follow the above warning(s) and pass it up.

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