All the talk this week has been about a planned alt-right rally in San Francisco by the group Patriot Prayer, which is more or less just a Facebook group started by one guy, Vancouver, Washington-based activist and vlogger Joey Gibson. Gibson is an ardent Trump supporter and conservative, but he insists that he is not a white nationalist or white supremacist he is not white himself, and is of Japanese descent even though such elements have had a habit of making appearances at his rallies in Portland, Seattle, and elsewhere.
The possibility of neo-Nazis in our midst of the sort who gathered in Charlottesville last weekend has been freaking a lot of people out. And those who are in agreement with my op-ed earlier this week saying that the left should not be giving these guys the photo op they want in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, doing battle with sticks or guns have been trying to come up with creative protests of their own.
One such idea, which has gained traction on Facebook to the tune of 700 attendees and 4,000 "interested", is to have dog owners from across the city bring their pooches to poop on Crissy Field between next Friday afternoon and Saturday morning (and presumably the beach next to it where the rally is technically planned), so that rally attendees on Saturday find hundreds of "landmines" when they arrive. Says organizer "Tuffy Tuffington," "We can get together Sunday and clean up the mess and hug each other!"
Speaking to SFGate, Tuffington, who identifies himself only as a 45-year-old Richmond district resident, says, "I wouldn't want 500 dog owners descending on a park I use on a regular basis and pooping, either. But dog poop is a lot easier to clean up than hate."
Meanwhile, Gibson has continues to defend his event, and on Thursday he went on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show to insist that it will not be about white supremacy.
"We have about eight speakers and only one speaker is white," Gibson says in the video below. "We have a couple black speakers, a hispanic [speaker], we have a transexual [sic] speaker, we have a woman speaker, it's very diverse. It's really just about what's on the inside, it's about what you believe, your heart, your soul, it has nothing to do with skin color."
Gibson further tells Carlson that any violence that may occur around the rally is Nancy Pelosi's fault for using "rhetoric" like the term "white supremacist" to "rally her citizens" to come to the event and "chase us out."
The one white speaker scheduled at the SF rally is reportedly Kyle Chapman, a.k.a. Based Stickman, a weird new mascot of the militant alt-right who showed up to the rally-riots in Berkeley this past spring with a stick and an American flag shield, was subsequently arrested, and whose own lawyer says he has "severe psychological problems."
It's of course hard to see how such a rally isn't intended simply to rile left-wing activists and the so-called antifa, whom Gibson very vocally despises. (An antifa phone call campaign to a real estate firm where he worked seems to have cost him his job two months ago.) Gibson is not going to find a wealth of supporters from within the city limits of San Francisco or Berkeley, where his two rallies are planned on August 26 and 27, and it seems disingenuous when, in one of several breathless interviews this week, he talks about not wanting to further divide people. He told MyNorthwest, regarding a rally last Sunday that turned briefly violent, "I don’t want to be part of the problem, I want to be part of the solution. I don’t have all the answers. I am constantly questioning everything that I do especially Sunday down in [Seattle] there were tons of street brawls because of our march. Even though it was all in self-defense, you have to ask yourself, ‘Am I creating a further divide in this country, even though I am trying to bring people together?’"
The answer is yes.
And Gibson can't control who shows up at his events, despite his saying "no Nazis" will be allowed. Accused Portland murderer Jeremy Joseph Christian was known to have attended at least one Patriot Prayer rally, and he described the stabbings in a courtroom outburst as "patriotism."
It remains to be seen whether Gibson's event will be given a final permit by the National Park Service.