Thousands of counter protesters marching to a planned 'Free Speech Rally' on Boston Common on August 19, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. Thousands of demonstrators and counter-protestors are expected at Boston Common where the Boston Free Speech Rally is being held. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
Thousands of counter protesters marching to a planned 'Free Speech Rally' on Boston Common on August 19, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. Thousands of demonstrators and counter-protestors are expected at Boston Common where the Boston Free Speech Rally is being held. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
By Matthew Reitman / August 20, 2017 10:16 am

Thousands of people marched against a small group of far-right protesters on Saturday in Boston.

Tensions were high, but the protests were mostly peaceful, resulting in 33 arrests. The “Boston Free Speech” rally came one week after a wave of violence between protesters and white supremacists ran through Charlottesville, Virginia leaving one dead, several wounded, and shockwaves throughout the country.

According to the Boston Globe, many feared the Saturday would result in a similar outcome but the police managed to maintain order. Police escorted the attendants of the rally, organized by the Boston Free Speech Coalition, through crowds of nearly 40,000 to their protest site.

Identity Evropa, a key organizer in the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally that prompted the counter-protests, has previously promoted its agenda in the Northeast. The New York Post reports members of the California-based white supremacy group have passed out leaflets on college campuses in New York and staged anti-immigration protests outside museums within the past year.

The Boston rally organizers claimed to have no connection with the Charlottesville rally, but several members of the Ku Klux Klan planned to attend, ABC News reports. In total, under fifty ralliers attended, including Republican congressional candidate Shiva Ayyadurai and white nationalist Kyle Chapman.