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The Latest: Dallas police prepare for rally against racism

August 20, 2017

DALLAS (AP) — The Latest on a conservative rally and counterdemonstration in Boston and around the country (all times local):

7 p.m.

Dallas officials are expecting thousands of people will show up for an evening rally against white supremacy at City Hall plaza, a short distance from the city’s Confederate War Memorial.

Several police sharp-shooters could be seen on top of nearby buildings ahead of the 7:30 p.m. rally.

Raymond Simmons, a 48-year-old from Dallas, arrived at the rally wearing a picture of the two Virginia state troopers killed in a helicopter crash while patrolling a gathering in Charlottesville supporting that state’s Confederate monuments. He says he believes people who engaged in violence there should be charged with treason and the death of the two troopers, as well a woman struck and killed by a car.

About a half-dozen people wearing camouflage toted long guns and other weapons as they walked through Pioneer Park, a Civil War cemetery. They said they were patrolling to make sure there is no vandalism to graves or the Confederate memorial.

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6:10 p.m.

Hundreds of people have rallied at Southern California beaches to condemn racism in the wake of the deadly events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Several hundred people rallied Saturday near a lifeguard tower in Laguna Beach, south of Los Angeles.

Mayor Toni Iselman told the crowd that “Laguna Beach doesn’t tolerate diversity, we embrace diversity.”

The demonstration was held one day before the group America First! planned to hold its own demonstration against illegal immigration in the same spot.

Saturday’s demonstrators said they didn’t want to confront the other group but counter-demonstrators are expected Sunday and police will be out in force.

A similar anti-racism event was held Saturday near the famed Venice beach boardwalk in Los Angeles.

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5:25 p.m.

Boston police say 27 arrests were made during the conservative activist rally and counterdemonstration on Boston Common.

Commissioner William Evans says Saturday’s events went off “as planned,” with no one hurt or killed. Most of the arrests were for disorderly conduct. Some were for assaulting police officers.

Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday morning on downtown Boston, dwarfing a smaller group of conservatives staging their own “free speech rally.” The conservatives left shortly after their arrival.

Evans and Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh praised law enforcement for monitoring the demonstrations, which drew about 40,000 people.

President Donald Trump is applauding the people in Boston who he says are “speaking out” against bigotry and hate.

Trump adds in a Twitter message that “Our country will soon come together as one!”

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4 p.m.

President Donald Trump is complimenting the Boston police on Twitter for their handling of the rallies minutes before the police department tweeted asking people to stop throwing items at them.

Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon, “Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston. Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you.”

Trump also complimented Boston’s Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh.

Boston Police Department tweeted shortly after that urine, rocks and bottles were being thrown at officers and were asking people to refrain from doing so.

Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday morning on downtown Boston, dwarfing a smaller group of conservatives staging their own “free speech rally.” The conservatives left the rally around 1 p.m., shortly after their arrival.

The Boston Globe reports about 20 arrests had been made.

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3:30 p.m.

Counterprotesters have begun to disperse after flooding a conservative activist rally in Boston that ended shortly after it began.

Boston police say Saturday’s “Free Speech Rally” on the Boston Common has officially ended. Some police officers were still stationed around the State House nearby.

Dozens of conservative rallygoers had gathered on the Common, but then left less than an hour after the event was getting underway. Thousands of counterprotesters had also gathered.

A law enforcement official says there were about 20 arrests. No serious injuries have been reported.

Many counterprotesters still remain in the area, including a few who were among people chanting “Black Lives Matter” who burned a confederate flag.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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