In the event description for Saturday's Patriot Prayer rally at Crissy Field in San Francisco, organizer Joey Gibson has been touting that he has a "transsexual" speaker in his lineup, and he's been touting the diversity of the lineup generally, which he says includes "3 black, 2 hispanic, 1 asian, 1 Samoan, 1 muslim, 2 woman [sic], and 1 white male." Setting aside the fact that Gibson doesn't know the preferred term is "transgender" and that the white male he's booked is alt-right figure Kyle "Based Stickman" Chapman, who can be heard in this video praising a Ukrainian town that allegedly "shot up" a Muslim neighborhood in their midst, and saying things like "multiculturalism doesn't work," Gibson has, disingenuously or not, been trying to put the word out that "We are here to spread a message of love," and "you will not find any hate speech" at his rally.
The "transsexual patriot" Amber Gwen Cummings who will be speaking Saturday is an interesting figure herself, and she's the organizer behind Sunday's "No to Marxism in America" rally happening in downtown Berkeley. A resident of the Bay Area she won't say exactly where Cummings was a party to the pro-Trump, right-wing rallies in March and April in Berkeley, both of which erupted into violence between Trump supporters, white nationalists like Nathan Damigo, and counter-protesters on the left, now commonly referred to by the alt-right's internet epithet for them, antifa.
The fact that she's an LGBT person who supported President Trump does not make her unique, but it may be informative as we head into this contentious weekend of rallies and counter-protests and sadly inevitable physical confrontations to understand some of the confused rhetoric fueling the fire behind these rallies, and the contradictory figures who are spearheading these events the attendance at which remains totally up in the air. (The SF event shows 439 going on Facebook, and the Berkeley event shows 325 going, while the counter-protest happening in Civic Center tomorrow has 2,600 people saying they're coming.)
Berkeleyside did a piece yesterday about Cummings, who set up a table on a Berkeley sidewalk on Tuesday and took questions from reporters.
She called claims that Sunday's rally would promote white supremacism "an outright lie that this mayor is propagating,” referring to Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín. "White supremacy is not allowed at my rally. We do not want racist people there. We do not want hateful people there."
Carrying a sign that said "Jail Antifa 4 Life," she went on to rail against the antifa who, she says, "violently accosted [me] for nothing more than showing up" to the March 4 rally in Berkeley, and who she says burn "Free Speech" signs and are seen "attacking veterans, attacking police, attacking the elderly." (At the March 4 rally, Cummings was photographed carrying a sign that said "Trans women for Trump.")
"Antifa bring the violence," she said when confronted by a man in the gathering crowd, as Berkeleyside reports, and he then engaged in a shouting match with her as she put a bandana over her face to prove a point about left-wing activists trying to be anonymous in these confrontations.
Cummings claims that her primary motivations have to do with free speech, and putting an end to "Marxism" taking hold in the US.
On Facebook yesterday Cummings wrote, "What scares me is we live in a Nation right now where the Media is covering up for violent terrorists like Antifa and BAMN [the group By Any Means Necessary]. The media is not covering the Marxism being taught at UC Berkeley. That to me is more scary then any of these events. I want all our children to have a future in this nation. EVERY person and child deserves to live free and happy in America."
She also writes, "We need to send a different SOS out and my SOS is to the people of SF and Berkeley. We stand with you against racism, fascism, and loathe white supremacy," but she goes on to repeatedly refer to leftist activists as "Anti-American," "terrorists" and "thugs," and suggests that they are promoting Marxism in lieu of fascism.
Gibson has said that neither Damigo nor white supremacist Richard Spencer are welcome at his rally, and Cummings reiterated to Berkeleyside, "Neo-Nazis would not stand with somebody like me. And I would not want them there."
Cummings began planning the Berkeley event back in June, and got an almost immediate "I'll see you all there" comment from Kyle Chapman. She did not, however, seek a permit from the city until August 17, the week after the tragic incidents in Charlottesville when this and the SF rally began getting media attention. That turned out to be less than the required ten business days before the event that the city requires, so they denied the application on Thursday, which clearly is not deterring anyone from showing up.
Cummings has done less public speaking and vlogging than her Pacific Northwest counterpart, Gibson, who preaches some similar "anti-Marxist" stuff along with anti-government, libertarian stuff and seems to contradict himself often. He has frequently tried to talk his way around the fact that his rallies have attracted white nationalists and that alleged commuter train stabber in the past, and he is not white himself. At a rally he held in Seattle the day after Charlottesville, Gibson shouted from the stage "Fuck white supremacists! Fuck neo-Nazis!" Meanwhile, as the Southern Poverty Law Center points out, he had just the week before organized a protest in Portland against "leftist violence" that attracted members of the openly white supremacist group Identity Evropa, along with some skinheads and "III Percent" militiamen.
"We will be the louder voice that everyone hears and this Anti American hatred will come to a end," writes Cummings. "This [sic] traitors will be exposed and I suspect jailed from society. Please have faith and stand strong, we will not forget you Berkeley and we are the good guys and we will expose this corruption and intimidation in your city. We the American people stand with you."
Update: The Daily Cal dug back into Cummings's Facebook to find that in July, she announced she was partnering with Chapman to sell signed sticks and shields, for use in their battles.
Further she suggested to the Chronicle that the rally Sunday won't be going on, and she was discouraging others from showing up. She said, dramatically, "It will be me alone attending, no one else please. In the event I am hurt or killed attending this rally, I ask you to please not retaliate on each other as a result of my injuries. Let my life be the last one lost."