Organizers of far-right rally in San Francisco cancel event
The organizers of a far-right rally that was set to be held this weekend in San Francisco have canceled the event.
The founder of the group putting on the rally, Patriot Prayer, said they’d be holding a “news conference” instead of the planned rally on Saturday afternoon.
“We’re not going to have a rally at Crissy Field,” Joey Gibson said in a Facebook Live video. “It doesn’t seem safe. A lot of people’s lives are going to be in danger tomorrow.”
The right-wing group originally had a permit to hold its rally at the Crissy Field location but blamed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other local officials for tying the event to white supremacists, saying their “rhetoric” was “bringing in extremists.”
“After several conversations with the police and understanding the situation of what’s going on, we’ve decided that tomorrow really seems like a setup,” Gibson said. “We decided to go ahead and take the opportunity to not fall into that trap.”
Another organizer of the event, Will Johnson, blamed counterprotestors for the decision to cancel the rally.
“We could have had this rally tomorrow, and it would have been peaceful,” he said. “Not a single person wants to fight. They are bringing the violence.”
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D) had previously denounced the rally, saying its message contradicted the city’s values of “love and compassion.”
“You all know that some people are coming in tomorrow to our city. You know as well as I do that they have a message that we don’t believe in, a message of hate,” Lee said, according to the San Fransisco Examiner. “But San Francisco is a city of love and compassion, and we will always lead with love and compassion.”
The rally’s cancellation follows the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month. One person was killed and at least 19 others were injured when a car plowed into a group of protestors.