Trump Calls Peaceful Boston Protesters ‘Agitators’

Thousands of people marched to counter a “Free Speech Rally” at Boston Common

Following a largely peaceful demonstration in Boston on Saturday, Donald Trump called the protesters who gathered to counter a conservative “Free Speech Rally” in Boston Common “anti-police agitators.”

Trump also thanked Boston mayor Martin Walsh and law enforcement officials who handled the protests, calling the latter “tough and smart.”

The Boston police commissioner estimates 40,000 people stood “against hatred and bigotry.” Thirty-three arrests were reported, but the protests were said to take place without any major incidents or injury and ended at around 1:30 p.m. local time.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Boston police took extra precautions to avoid a repeat of the violence that killed one and injured dozens more in Charlottesville last week. Approximately 500 officers were deployed to monitor the protests, and security cameras and extra barriers were set up to separate the “Free Speech Rally” from counter-protesters who surrounded them.

The president’s tweets were met with backlash from his critics.