Joey Gibson, the leader of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, canceled gatherings at both Crissy Field and Alamo Square Park in San Francisco, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Gibson complained the city had made it nearly impossible for him to organize a public event.
A press release from California State Senator Scott Wiener tells a different story:
“Today the right-wing extremist group Patriot Prayer – with a history of violent rallies – showed its true colors by canceling, at the last minute, its permitted rally at Crissy Field and scheduling and illegal unpermitted rally at Alamo Square. They did this after the National Park Service correctly placed significant security conditions on the permit, including not carrying anything that could be used as a weapon. Patriot Prayer is not interested in simply exercising free speech. Rather, Patriot Prayer wants to create a volatile, chaotic, violent tinderbox. This rally in Alamo Square is illegal and in the heart of a residential neighborhood, and I am deeply concerned it will lead to violence, particularly given how close Alamo Square is to the counter-protest at Civic Center. As a matter of public safety, it cannot be allowed to happen.”
The San Francisco Chronicle, which has been following the event, reports that Gibson arrived at Crissy Field at 3:58pm PT (6:58pm ET), despite canceling his group’s event at this location.
Check the San Francisco Chronicle’s website for further developments: http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/SF-makes-hurried-plans-to-handle-right-wing-event-11969432.php.