BOSTON (AP) —  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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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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