Free Speech Rally Organizer, Attendees Attacked by Counterprotesters

Supporters of President Donald Trump argue with counter demonstrators after a free speech rally in San Francisco, Calif., October 17, 2020. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

A free speech rally organized by conservative activists in San Francisco was canceled on Saturday after several hundred counterprotesters swarmed the demonstration and attacked the group.

During the rally, organized by Team Save America in protest of Big Tech’s alleged censorship of conservative voices, one supporter of President Trump was taken away in an ambulance while three San Francisco police officers and the event’s organizer were also injured, according to the Associated Press.

The organizer of the event, Philip Anderson, said Antifa rioters attacked him “for no reason.” Counterprotesters threw plastic water bottles and glass bottles over police barricades as he took the stage around 1 p.m.

“This is what happens when you lose free speech,” Anderson said as the crowd jeered. “This is what happens, America. This is what our country is turning into.”

Video appears to show a counterprotester punching Anderson in the mouth. He shared photos on social media of his bloodied mouth with a front tooth missing.

Three police officers were injured after being assaulted with pepper spray and caustic chemicals, the San Francisco Police Department said, one of whom was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

No arrests were made, police said.

The free speech rally comes after news that Facebook and Twitter had worked to suppress a New York Post report based on emails which suggest the younger Biden may have made an introduction between his father, then- Vice President Joe Biden, and a Ukrainian adviser to Burisma Holdings in 2015. The authenticity of the emails has not been confirmed.

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