Hundreds of Protesters Gather at San Francisco Park to Denounce White Supremacists

Posted August 27, 2017

The US remains on edge after a white supremacist mowed down crowds of anti-racist protesters, killing at least one, at a rally in Charlottesville on August 12.

In response, Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson appeared defiant, posting on Facebook that he planned to "pop up at random spots in the city" to talk to San Francisco residents and would hold his news conference indoors at an undisclosed location. They said a permit was never issued for the news conference.

Lee said the group had not canceled the event in writing, so police will still be there and anywhere else they need to be to keep the city safe. However, the city's mayor Ed Lee said on Twitter that no permits had been requested or granted for that location.

Joey Gibson, the rally's organizer and the founder of the conservative group Patriot Prayer, said that he believed that "tons of extremists" would be coming to his event and that it could become unsafe.

Silence is Violence

The anti-Trump organization By Any Means Necessary, which has sometimes supported violent tactics, had vowed to shut down the Berkeley rally even before it gained new prominence with the cancellation of Gibson's event. Patriot Prayer is not interested in simply exercising free speech.

By Friday, they had organized more than a dozen counter-demonstrations in San Francisco and Berkeley, ranging from dance parties to a marches to the formation of a 100-foot "human heart" that would be photographed from the sky.

Late Friday, it remained unclear whether rally-goers would still show up in Crissy Field.

Charles Rachlis, 60, said multiple coalitions of church groups, civil rights activists, socialists and anarchists were organizing to combat the presence of the far right in the city.

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"It can't be allowed to happen", Weiner said in a subsequent statement.

This year, politically-charged events have spiraled into violence in the famously liberal college town, including a "Patriot Day" rally in April and protests that erupted at UC Berkeley before a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos in February.

Joey Gibson, leader of the group Patriot Prayer, said Friday that members had been in contact with police and decided tomorrow's event "seems like a set up".

The group had scheduled a a rally near the Golden Gate Bridge but cancelled those plans after Bay Area authorities said they feared violence would occur.

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Organizers of the Patriot Prayer rally blamed "Antifa Punks" for Saturday's canceled rally.

Some groups in the city synonymous with the "Summer of Love" had planned to welcome their political opponents with unusual weekend protests, though it wasn't clear which of those would continue.

The weekend's events kicked off on Friday with a Unite Against Hate rally at the San Francisco Civic Center.

Mayor Lee earlier said that "people with hate-filled messages" planned on coming to his city for the Crissy Field rally, while Pelosi described it as a "white supremacist rally in the middle of a park for families and children". So we are asking people to come stand against Marxism.

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