The organizers behind Saturday’s scheduled far-right rally in San Francisco seem to be using the old “bait and switch.”
According to the San Francisco Gate, Joey Gibson of the group Patriot Prayer, who is the main organizer of the event, “called off” the rally in the city’s Crissy Field. He then announced that they’d be holding a “press conference” with the same lineup at Alamo Square Park at the same time.
Citing concerns about violence from counter-protesters, many who ascribe to “black bloc” or anti-fascist ideologies, organizer Will Johnson called on the city to publicly denounce “antifa” groups.
“We could have had this rally [Saturday], and it would have been peaceful,” Johnson said. “Not a single person wants to fight. [The counter-protesters] are bringing the violence.”
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.
The organizers changed locations just as police were finalizing security measures at Crissy Field. However, San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell said the groups rallying would not be granted new permits for Alamo Square Park.
“Whether they hold the rally at Crissy Field or make plans elsewhere to disrupt our city, it is our responsibility to make sure every contingency is planned for,” Farrell told the Gate. “I was hoping they would cancel and pack up their tents and go home. This is just meant to cause further disruption to the residents of San Francisco. That is their [modus operandi].”
The relocating of the event came just hours after alt-right meme hero “Based Stickman” was arrested and jailed for wielding a leaden pipe against counter-protesters at another rally earlier this year.
Mother Jones‘ Julia Chan noted on Twitter that the new location is much closer to scheduled counter-protests around the city than it was at Crissy Field, the original location.
See: Alamo Square Park (red) sits far closer to 3 of the bigger counter protests planned for tomorrow – way further than Crissy Field (pink) pic.twitter.com/gmQA3sJ5nM
— Julia B. Chan (@juliachanb) August 25, 2017
Check out more tweets about the alt-right event’s location change below.
— Lizzie Johnson (@lizziejohnsonnn) August 25, 2017
RALLY AT CRISSY PARK IS "CANCELLED" HOWEVER THAT GROUP IS HAVING A "CONFERENCE" AT ALAMO SQUARE PARK AT 2PM STAND TOGETHER STAY SAFE RT RT pic.twitter.com/SgRRkhM6JK
— NINE HELLS (@ObsidianxBlade) August 25, 2017
My statement on extremists' decision to cancel permitted rally at Crissy Field and to hold an illegal, volatile rally at Alamo Square. pic.twitter.com/MtN2T2fvDt
— Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) August 25, 2017