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Conservatives staging free speech rally attacked by critics

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 10/17/2020
Medics transport a supporter of President Donald Trump to an ambulance after he was attacked by counter-protesters in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) © Provided by Associated Press Medics transport a supporter of President Donald Trump to an ambulance after he was attacked by counter-protesters in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A free speech demonstration staged by conservative activists quickly fell apart in downtown San Francisco on Saturday after several hundred counterprotesters surged the area, outnumbering and attacking those gathered, including knocking one in the mouth.

A counter-protester pours a drink on a supporter of President Donald Trump in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) © Provided by Associated Press A counter-protester pours a drink on a supporter of President Donald Trump in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

A photographer working for The Associated Press witnessed a Trump supporter being taken away in an ambulance and an injured San Francisco police officer on the ground by San Francisco’s United Nations Plaza.

Medics transport a supporter of President Donald Trump to an ambulance after he was attacked by counter-protesters in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) © Provided by Associated Press Medics transport a supporter of President Donald Trump to an ambulance after he was attacked by counter-protesters in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Team Save America organized the rally to protest Twitter, which it said squelches conservative speech. Members of the group wore red “Make America Great Again” Trump campaign hats and carried pro-police “Thin Blue Line” flags and U.S. flags.

Medics transport a supporter of President Donald Trump to an ambulance after he was attacked by counter-protesters in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) © Provided by Associated Press Medics transport a supporter of President Donald Trump to an ambulance after he was attacked by counter-protesters in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Philip Anderson, the organizer of the event, posted photos to social media of his bloody mouth with a front tooth missing and another hanging loosely. He said anti-fascist protesters attacked him “for no reason."

A tooth dangles from free speech rally organizer Philip Anderson's mouth after he was attacked by a counter-protester on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) © Provided by Associated Press A tooth dangles from free speech rally organizer Philip Anderson's mouth after he was attacked by a counter-protester on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Anderson took the stage at about 1 p.m. and was greeted by chants and plastic water bottles and glass bottles thrown over police barricades.

A counter-protester throws an egg at conservative activists staging a free speech rally in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) © Provided by Associated Press A counter-protester throws an egg at conservative activists staging a free speech rally in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The event was canceled, although both sides lingered in the area into the afternoon.

A counter-protester, who declined to give his name, prepares to hit a conservative free speech rally organizer in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) © Provided by Associated Press A counter-protester, who declined to give his name, prepares to hit a conservative free speech rally organizer in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The San Francisco Police Department said three officers suffered non life-threatening injuries when they were assaulted with pepper spray and caustic chemicals. One officer was taken to a local hospital for treatment, the department said.

A tooth dangles from free speech rally organizer Philip Anderson's mouth after he was attacked by a counter-protester on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) © Provided by Associated Press A tooth dangles from free speech rally organizer Philip Anderson's mouth after he was attacked by a counter-protester on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

No arrests were made, the department said.

Philip Anderson, an organizer of a conservative free speech rally, left, hauls a fellow demonstrator over police barricades after being attacked by counter-protesters on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) © Provided by Associated Press Philip Anderson, an organizer of a conservative free speech rally, left, hauls a fellow demonstrator over police barricades after being attacked by counter-protesters on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Anderson called the counterprotesters hypocrites and said they are the reason why he's voting for President Donald Trump.

Police officers to to hold off counter-protesters as conservative activists stage a free speech rally in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) © Provided by Associated Press Police officers to to hold off counter-protesters as conservative activists stage a free speech rally in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

“I love America, I love this country and I love free speech,” he said.

A police officer tends to a San Francisco police sergeant following confrontations with counterprotesters trying to stop conservative activists from rallying in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counterprotesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) © Provided by Associated Press A police officer tends to a San Francisco police sergeant following confrontations with counterprotesters trying to stop conservative activists from rallying in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counterprotesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) Philip Anderson, center, organizer of a free speech rally by conservative activists in San Francisco, is attacked by a counter-protester on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) © Provided by Associated Press Philip Anderson, center, organizer of a free speech rally by conservative activists in San Francisco, is attacked by a counter-protester on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators were met by several hundred counter-protesters as they tried to rally. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
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