BOSTON, Massachusetts-- Thousands of people took to the streets of Boston is response to a planned "free speech" rally.
Despite fears of a repeat of Charlottesville, the 40,000 demonstrators marching through the streets of Boston were well-behaved. So well-behaved, that they caught the eye of President Trump, who applauded them for speaking out against "bigotry and hate."
The President added, "sometimes you need to protest in order to heal," saying America has been divided for decades.
Their event dwarfed and ultimately cut short a "free speech" rally, which they feared would become a platform for Neo-Nazis and white nationalists.
Masses of people marched all morning long. And by 1 p.m., the handful of people at the "free speech" rally left, prompting a big cheer among the counter-protesters, who continued to march.
They were loud: speaking out against racism, Nazis, and white supremacism. And they said they're marching for everyone: Democrats and Republicans.
After the violence in Virginia last weekend, there was a huge police presence at today's protest.
33 counter-protesters were arrested for disorderly conduct, although Boston's police commissioner says no one was injured and no property was damaged.
"Overall I thought we got the First Amendment people in, we got them out, no one got hurt, no one got killed," he said.
"I think we have coalesced into one large, loud voice and the alt-right hasn't," a protester explained. "They're just yelling and screaming and being violent and we're being peaceful."
An organizer of the free speech event said the group has no affiliation with the white supremacists involved in the violence in Charlottesville, but a small number of Ku Klux Klan members were expected to attend, ABC-affiliate WCVB in Boston reported.