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First Amendment Activists Protest Restrictions At Boston Free Speech Rally

BOSTON (AP) — Not everyone is happy with restrictions imposed during last weekend's rally on the Boston Common.

During Saturday's rally, a small group of conservative "free speech" activists were allowed to gather on a park bandstand. Boston police created a barrier to separate those participating in the rally from thousands of demonstrators who filled the common to protest racism and white supremacy.

Boston Protests
An aerial view of protesters on Boston Common demonstrating against a so-called 'free speech' rally on the Parkman Bandstand Saturday, August 19, 2017. (WBZ-TV)

Police also blocked reporters from approaching the bandstand to hear what those attending the rally were saying.

The New England First Amendment Coalition says those restrictions unreasonably interfered with the right of journalists to cover a story of public interest.

Boston Protests
The 'free speech' rally was confined to the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common Saturday as barriers and police held back a massive protest. (WBZ-TV)

They say accommodations should have been made for close-up press coverage of the speakers as is usually done at public events.

City officials say they were trying to prevent violence.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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