Aug 26, 2017
Thousands of people celebrated in the streets of San Francisco on Saturday after a slate of creative counterprotests and condemnation from local politicians convinced the rightwing group Patriot Prayer to cancel a rally it had planned for Saturday afternoon at Crissy Field.
The rally cancellation did not deter those who had planned citywide counterprotests from hosting their events, which included a gathering in support of "equal rights for all," a march against white supremacy, and a rally at the Civic Center--which featured a group that dressed as clowns in an effort to "spread joy, love, and celebrate living in diversity."
\u201c#UniteAgainstHate San Francisco Castro rally says NOT HERE NOT EVER to white supremacy\u201d— Antonia Juhasz (@Antonia Juhasz) 1503776763
\u201cThe #Castro turns out for love/inclusion & against hate. Love will always win. #LGBT #LoveWins\u201d— Senator Scott Wiener (@Senator Scott Wiener) 1503774987
After Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson called off the rally with less than 24 hours notice, the group had planned a press conference for Saturday morning at Alamo Square, which was also cancelled when city police closed down the park because the organizers lacked a permit.
"I don't like Nazis in San Francisco or anywhere. We will chase them away. I can only hope that our presence here today will keep encouraging people to come out and stand up."
--Kelly Horner, 60-year-old counterprotester
Saturday afternoon, Gibson livestreamed a statement from a hotel room before hosting an outdoor press conference, attended by local media, in the nearby city Pacifia. In the livestreamed address, Gibson vowed to "walk the streets" of San Francisco today.
The Los Angeles Times reports: "on Saturday afternoon, Gibson and about two dozen of his supporters appeared at Crissy Field and argued with some of [the counterprotesters], but for the most part, avoided any physical conflict."
Although Patriot Prayer claims to oppose "extremists," including "Nazis, Communist, KKK, Antifa, white supremacist, I.E., or white nationalists," their events in the Pacific Northwest have often attracted individuals associated with those groups and ideologies, and ended in violent street battles.
"I don't like Nazis in San Francisco or anywhere. We will chase them away," 60-year-old Kelly Horner, who attended a counterprotest at the Civic Center on Saturday, told SFGate. "I can only hope that our presence here today will keep encouraging people to come out and stand up."
\u201cJust in: the alt-righties bailed to Pacifica. San Francisco *literally* chased the Nazis out of the city.\u201d— Violet Blue\u00ae (@Violet Blue\u00ae) 1503779727
Hundreds headed to Harvey Milk Plaza at 12pm local time for a "Come Together" counterprotest organized by LGBTQ activists Cleve Jones and Juanita More. "In light of the tragic events in Charlottesville and the ongoing fascist rhetoric of President Trump, the citizens of San Francisco are summoned to show their commitment to equal rights for all," the Facebook event said.
\u201cHarvey Milk Plaza right now #UnitedAgainstHate #SanFrancisco\u201d— Ariel Waldman (@Ariel Waldman) 1503774713
From the streets of San Francisco, Mother Jones journalists reported that thousands of counterprotesters started "marching from Alamo Square towards the Mission District" as "the Patriot Prayer group started livestreaming" their first address. The marchers "carried artistic posters, designed by Bay Area artists, including one that said 'Resist' and another that showed a tiki torch with orange wild flowers blooming instead of flames," SFGate reported.
\u201cVaudeville clown troupe "Fou Fou Ha" is out here determined to "spread joy, love and celebrate living in diversity." #sfrally\u201d— Julia B. Chan (@Julia B. Chan) 1503783878
This story has been updated to include a report from the Los Angeles Times.
We're optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.
We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter counts.
Your contribution supports this new media model—free, independent, and dedicated to uncovering the truth. Stand with us in the fight for social justice, human rights, and equality. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.