The armed militia group known as Oath Keepers, a pro-gun group associated with the far right who took part in a standoff with the federal government in Oregon two years ago and who has had a vigilante security-keeping presence at right-wing rallies around the country in recent months, says that they avoided Patriot Prayer's planned rally last Saturday at Crissy Field because they couldn't get any assurance from organizer Joey Gibson that neo-Nazis or white nationalists would not be present. As Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes tells the Examiner, Gibson sent him a text saying he couldn't keep known white supremacist Jake Von Ott of the Portland chapter of Identity Evropa from attending the rally.
"We cannot and will not be involved in any event where known white nationalists are allowed inside the security perimeter, inside the venue, and we are told we cannot kick them out once we identify them," Rhodes said to the Ex.
Further, there is the troublesome presence of Kyle "Based Stickman" Chapman, a scheduled speaker at the Crissy Field rally, who just last month gave a rambling speech at an alt-right event in which he promoted the idea of a "war on whites in Western Civilization," gave praise to Ukranians killing Muslims, and suggested that the country will only be saved by "patriots" who are willing to risk their lives and die in the streets doing battle with left-wing activists. Chapman sat side-by-side with Gibson at a quickly cobbled-together news conference in Pacifica on Saturday, despite the fact that Gibson has repeatedly insisted that he is not a white supremacist and that racists aren't allowed at his rallies.
Von Ott was also previously photographed at one of Gibson's rallies in Portland last month.
Gibson had told the Examiner in an interview just last week that he intended to have the Oath Keepers at his rally for protection but this was before the National Park Service and SFPD banned weapons of all kinds from the event.
Rhodes added, to the Examiner, "Until Kyle Chapman publicly disavows and condemns white nationalism and severs all connections with such people, [the Oath Keepers] cannot be part of an event where he is a speaker."
The Oath Keepers bristle, in posts like this one on their site pertaining to the planned rallies here, at being called a "militia" force or being called "anti-government." "Patriots who revere the Constitution are called 'anti-government,'" they complain, despite the intimidation factor that comes with their heavily armed presence and defiance of the government in several instances regarding federal land. The group's oath says, broadly, "I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." And they have a list of various orders they will not obey, which include states of martial law, and "orders to disarm the American people. " At the bottom of that list is "orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances," and therein lies their motivation to secure alt-right rallies that have been threatened by law enforcement orders concerned about security risks.