UGH. Joey Gibson, the highly erratic organizer behind the planned Patriot Prayer rally at Crissy Field tomorrow, has just announced via Facebook that the event is canceled due to safety concerns. Instead he said there will be a "news conference" in Alamo Square at 2 p.m. Saturday in which he and other activists will get to exchange the photo op backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge with the Painted Ladies and the skyline instead.
In a live video posted at 3 p.m. alongside three other of the event's organizers, Gibson said, "After several conversations with the police and understanding the situation of what's going on, we've decided that tomorrow really seems like a setup... The mayor, Nancy Pelosi, the media. All these people are saying we're white supremacists, and it's bringing in all these extremists... So we're going to take the opportunity to not fall into that trap. We're not going to have a rally at Crissy Field. [Instead] We're going to have a news conference in Alamo Park... to talk about the rhetoric in San Francisco."
This talk about extremists being inspired to attend because of rhetoric from local politicians, Nancy Pelosi, and the media is of course false Gibson's events are indeed attended by white nationalists, even if he disowns their views, and their presence was well documented at a rally he staged several weeks ago in Portland.
He and his co-organizers likely have not secured any kind of permission or permit for hosting this impromptu news conference tomorrow, so we shouldn't count on it actually happening either, but he subsequently posted to Facebook, "We are asking the city to keep us safe. We are all excited for Berkeley!!"
Will the memo get out to all these "extremists" who have now planned their weekends around these two events? We'll see!
A huge rally and counter-protest is nonetheless going to happen in Civic Center tomorrow afternoon, as are, probably, many of these other planned demonstrations.
And this gives the alt-right, and whatever Gibson and his cohort call themselves this week, a chance to conserve their strength for the Sunday rally in Berkeley, which does not have a permit.
Meanwhile, the SFPD and the GGNRA has been bending over backwards planning for the crowds tomorrow, and somebody owes them some money.
Update: State Sen. Scott Wiener has issued a statement saying the Alamo Square news conference "cannot be allowed to happen."
Previously: Park Service Issues Final Permit For 'Patriot Prayer' Rally