Saturday morning began with the SFPD closing down Alamo Square Park and shutting down streets within a two-block radius, all after Patriot Prayer organizer Joey Gibson had announced Friday that he would be having an afternoon press conference there in place of a canceled rally at Crissy Field. He ended up having no such press conference, but protesters appeared in droves, with several hundred gathering Saturday by noon for an impromptu rally against hate at the corner of Hayes and Steiner, after being denied entry to the park.
State senator Scott Wiener, who attended the march and rally, told the Golden Gate Express, "We had these fascists coming to town to try to provoke us, and we responded with a message of love and inclusion."
A separate rally was happening around the same time on Castro Street, where drag queen Juanita More, activist Cleve Jones, and a crew of speakers from Bay Area labor and activism communities spoke out against the kind of bigotry and white nationalism that was on display two weeks ago in Charlottesville and which many imagined would arrive in San Francisco in tandem with the Patriot Prayer event.
The infuriatingly dense Gibson, meanwhile, held some kind of press conference in Pacifica Saturday afternoon, and then, as the Chronicle reports, showed up in Crissy Field anyway by late afternoon, flanked by "about 20 would-be rally participants, some of whom said they had come from Oregon and Washington to attend the aborted rally." Gibson and the others used the opportunity to again say they'd been mischaracterized as racists, and say something about the antifa being out to get them even though there were no "antifa" in evidence Saturday, just San Francisco coming out to protest.
Thousands marched from both the Castro and Dolores Park to Civic Center, where a rally and concert went on into the afternoon, featuring performances by Michael Franti and Spearhead, Malo and the Brothers Comatose, and others.