The city of San Francisco claims it’s a city of love and tolerance, but has no tolerance for speech they don’t like or disagree with. On Saturday, the conservative advocacy group, Patriot Prayer, was scheduled to host a rally to promote free speech at Crissy Field, but were shut out by police after they walled off the city park they were supposed to hold the rally in.
Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson, who is Japanese American, has been dubbed a “white supremacist” and thus has been marred with criticism from lawmakers that his presence and rallies are meant to provoke violence between counter-protesters and rallygoers.
“If people want to have the stage in San Francisco, they better have a message that contributes to people’s lives rather than find ways to hurt them,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said during a press conference in front of city hall. “That’s why certain voices found it very difficult to have their voices heard today.”
Gibson was less than enthused by the reception he’s been given. “They’re definitely doing a great job of trying to make sure my message doesn’t come out.”
According to Fox News, more than a thousand demonstrators gathered chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” to block the Patriot Prayer rally and condemning white supremacists.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has become increasingly partisan in recent years, declared that Patriot Prayer is an “antigovernment” group “that has organized a series of protests in the Pacific Northwest that have all been held in places that are established centers of liberal/left politics, all with the clear intent of attempting to provoke a violent response from far-left antifascists.”
Despite the fact that Gibson’s group has been dubbed a “white supremacist” group, SPLC admits that Patriot Prayer isn’t white supremacist at all. They included that at Patriot Prayer’s Aug. 13th Seattle demonstration, he denounced white supremacists, and actively keeps them out of his rallies.
Still, it’s not good enough for people like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who continues to call Patriot Prayer a “white supremacist” group.
After the event was canceled, Gibson attended the pro-Trump rally in Berkeley on Sunday where he was pepper-sprayed and assaulted by members of Antifa.