A demonstration of far-right cancelled in San Francisco

  • A demonstration of far-right cancelled in San Francisco

A demonstration of far-right cancelled in San Francisco

Members of Patriot Prayer announced Friday afternoon that they were in fact cancelling their rally and would instead be holding a press conference.

Joey Gibson is the man behind Patriot Prayer (which he says is an "ideology" more than a group).

Mayor Ed Lee and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) both called for the Crissy Field rally, which was granted a permit, to be cancelled.

"We hoped that people would be able to be searched and turned away at the park line", Gibson added.

Lee said that, despite organizers saying it's called off, they have not canceled the event in writing so the city is proceeding as though the event is still happening.

Gibson said the various speakers can say "what they want", but Gibson named several groups that will not be permitted to share their views: neo-Nazis, communists, Antifa (or antifascists), white supremacists and white nationalists.

Concerns about alt-right rallies have grown after one in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12 turned violent and resulted in the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer and injuries to 19 others when, police said, a man who marched with white supremacists rammed a vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians.

Namely, a lot of dog mess - as activists plan to turn the venue for right-wing protest group Patriot Prayer's rally into a "minefield" of dog waste.

Organizer Amber Cummings said in a lengthy statement issued via Facebook that she had "grave concerns for the safety of the people attending my event".

Park police had banned weapons from the park and taken other precautions against possible violence at the rally.

The hosts of the event have promised to clean it all up after the rally.

Gibson said the group still plans to participate in an anti-Marxist rally scheduled for Sunday in nearby Berkeley, California.

"We think it's time to get together, to celebrate our differences in solidarity, and peacefully speak out against the hateful currents in American society", the group said on the Facebook event page.

After considering the implications of this announcement in coordination with law enforcement, the planned closures will be lifted in the Presidio for Saturday.

In the San Francisco area, protesters this weekend will face more restrictions and beefed-up police powers than in the past.

Gibson said the group would be also be present at the anti-Marxist rally in Berkeley Sunday.

That rally saw a woman killed after an avowed white supremacist rammed his auto into a group of anti-racism counter-protesters. "The more we can feed people sandwiches rather than an adrenaline", they say, "the better our chances for keeping peace".

Other wacky counter-protests on Saturday will include people dressed as clowns and arriving via kayaks, Facebook events show. The "Patriot Prayer" rally is set to be held the #Crissy Field public park, close to the Golden Gate Bridge.

As reported by SFGate, the permit for the Alt-Right event described it as being a rally involving around 300 people, running from 2 p.m.

"We don't have an option to not fight back", said Tur-Ha Ak of the Anti-Police Terror Project and Community Ready Core to CNN affiliate KGO.