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Freedom of speech, tarnished by violence as a storming event by counter-protesters, hit pro-Trump protesters



A rally to promote free speech and condemn major tech censorship went ugly in San Francisco on Saturday when hundreds of suspected anti-fascist protesters showed up to verbally abuse and attack protesters, one of whom was missing a tooth.

The conservative group Team Save America organized the event to protest against Twitter. They planned to gather in United Nations Square before moving the protest to Twitter headquarters a few blocks away. But the event quickly turned into a screaming match and violence as hundreds of counter-protesters stormed the scene.

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The video shows a counter-protester beating Philip Anderson, an organizer of the event, and knocking out one of his teeth.

Anderson posted a picture of the episode on social media and said he was attacked by Antifa.

A counter-protester who refused to give his name prepares to meet with a conservative free speech organizer in San Francisco on Saturday, October 17, 2020.  About a dozen pro-Trump protesters were met by several hundred counter-protesters trying to rally.  (AP Photo / Noah Berger)

A counter-protester who refused to give his name prepares to meet a Conservative free speech organizer in San Francisco on Saturday, October 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump protesters were met by several hundred counter-protesters trying to rally. (AP Photo / Noah Berger)

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“This is what happens when you lose free speech,” Anderson said of boos as the crowd threw objects at him. “This is what happens to America. This is what our country becomes.”

The event was canceled before it really started.

Another protester wearing a Trump 2020 shirt was attacked at one point by a counter-protester.

A supporter of President Donald Trump lies on the ground after being attacked by counter-protesters in San Francisco on Saturday, October 17, 2020.  About a dozen pro-Trump protesters were met by hundreds of counter-protesters as they tried to rally.  (AP Photo / Noah Berger)

A supporter of President Donald Trump lies on the ground after he was attacked by counter-protesters in San Francisco on Saturday, October 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump protesters were met by hundreds of counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo / Noah Berger)

Medics transport a trailer of President Donald Trump to an ambulance after it was attacked by counter demonstrators in San Francisco on Saturday, October 17, 2020.  About a dozen pro-Trump protesters were hit by several hundred counter-demonstrators when they tried to rally.  (AP Photo / Noah Berger)

Medics transport a trailer of President Donald Trump to an ambulance after it was attacked by counter demonstrators in San Francisco on Saturday, October 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump protesters were hit by several hundred counter-demonstrators when they tried to rally. (AP Photo / Noah Berger)

The San Francisco Police Department did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

Social media companies have recently come under fire for alleged censorship. Last week, for example, Twitter warned a tweet from the president comparing the coronavirus to the flu, while Facebook removed the post entirely.

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By Saturday night, Twitter had blocked the New York Post account to tweet about their coverage of Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden.

Facebook, meanwhile, said it was reducing the spread of the Post’s coverage on its platform.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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