Canceled rally does little to stem San Francisco fears

27 August, 2017, 01:21 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Silence is Violence

Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson announced Friday that the group would instead hold a news conference at a San Francisco city park Saturday to explain what he called the failure of police and elected officials to keep the group safe.

With the rally canceled, it is unclear whether extensive closures in the Presidio park will continue through the weekend.

Lee said the group had not canceled the rally in writing, so police would remain vigilant at the Golden Gate site.

In a Facebook Live broadcast together with three other organisers for the "free speech rally" at Crissy Field, a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Gibson said the event could be "a trap". They also worry that impromptu rally will occur in its place.

"After several conversations with the police and understanding, you know, the situation of what's going on we decided that tomorrow really seems like a setup", Gibson said, without elaboration. "We could have had this rally (Saturday), and it would have been peaceful". That rally saw a woman killed after an avowed white supremacist rammed his vehicle into a group of anti-racism counter-protesters. Violent clashes with counterprotesters have broken out at past rallies.

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In his latest statement, the mayor said "SFPD will have an enhanced presence at Alamo Square and in the surrounding neighborhoods". The new gathering is not permitted, he said. "I never have from the beginning", Lee said, as he urged people not to show up at the news conference the group plans to hold instead of the rally. She says she might go to spread her message of love and hope. "That is their (mode of operation)".

State Sen. Scott Wiener, who represents San Francisco, said in a tweet that the press conference would be "illegal as they have no permit". Patriot Prayer is not interested in simply exercising free speech.

Patriot Prayer is based in OR state.

The city requires special-event applications to be submitted at least 60 days in advance.

It wasn't immediately clear if those precautions would be lifted due to the rally cancellation. Civic Center Park in Berkeley on Sunday, when a "No to Marxism" rally is scheduled.

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Back at Alamo Square, police officers have herded protesters towards Fillmore Street.

Earlier Friday, hundreds of people rallied raucously and danced against hate in advance of the now-canceled event.

"I just had this image of alt-right people stomping around in the poop", Tuffington, who said the idea came to him as he was walking his two Patterdale terriers, Bob and Chuck, told The Guardian. Almost two dozen men and women from the Glide Ensemble, wearing rainbow shirts and holding "Unite Against Hate" signs, sang gospel music. "Hate will not infect us and become a cancer in this city". Chapman has posted on Facebook this week that he plans to attend this weekend's rallies.

Kyle Chapman, a self-described "American nationalist" from nearby Daly City, was arrested and charged with possession of a weapon after authorities said he was seen on video hitting a counter-protester over the head with a billy club during a chaotic March 4 demonstration in Berkeley. "It sends a powerful message that communities can rise against hate".

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