Your Aug. 22 editorial on the Boston rally (“Crowd in Boston spoke volumes for equality. But anti-racists enter a complicated area when their actions deny opponents the right to speak.’) missed some important points, reiterating what many bigots and racists are using as a divisive tactic: that free speech is being denied.

I marched in the rally. I did so because a number of hate groups present in Charlottesville announced an intention to come to Boston, regardless of what the organizers may have wished. The roughly 100 people were able to have their free speech rally, guaranteed with police protection. The rally was overwhelmingly peaceful, and very emotional.

It turns out most people don’t relish the thought of neo-Nazis being in their town. The vast majority of the police were great on the march itself, making sure we were safe and even openly supportive of us. Afterwards, we listened to many speakers, who chose to speak about ending racism, not promulgating it.

Forty-thousand people marched peacefully against the hate demonstrated in Charlottesville. That’s why we marched, because hate begins with speech.

I have no issue with free speech; I have an issue with hate speech. Words matter. Extreme right-wing hate groups want to make hate speech perfectly acceptable speech. The terribly divisive speech coming from the White House isn’t helping improve things. The courts have long recognized that free speech is not an unlimited right. Making this an argument about free speech further confuses and misleads people who are not informed or paying attention.

Please don’t use your position to prolong misdirection and divisiveness. Also, the rally was not shut down as you reported; the rally was ended voluntarily by the free speech group, a fact tweeted out by the Boston PD.

Reporting it as “shut down” mischaracterizes what happened, in a manner that could be construed as coercive on the part of the counter-protest.