'Patriot Prayer' cancelling rally at SF's Crissy Field

Friday, August 25, 2017 07:24PM
The group "Patriot Prayer" says they're cancelling tomorrow's rally at San Francisco's Crissy Field, citing safety concerns.


SAN FRANCISCO - The group "Patriot Prayer" says they're cancelling tomorrow's rally at San Francisco's Crissy Field, citing safety concerns. They made the announcement during a Facebook Live. They say that instead of a rally, they'll hold a news conference at Alamo Square Park at 2 p.m.

"So media, you can call us all you want, you can ask us a million questions, but it's going to come down to tomorrow, so that way you can hear from all the speakers, all the harassment they've gotten, then you can get a true sense of what's going on behind the scenes, ok?" said the group's leader, Joey Gibson.

According to Gibson, in addition to the Saturday news conference in San Francisco, they'll be at the protest in Berkeley on Sunday. He says it should be safer because they won't be boxed in.

FULL LIST: Counter demonstrations planned for San Francisco, Berkeley rallies

"Berkeley is a better situation because we don't feel like we're walking into a trap," he said. "It's wide open, it's an open field, it's in the city, it's just a better situation, we're extremely excited to go down to Berkeley."

Patriot Prayer, which is based in Portland, had a permit to host a 2 p.m. "freedom rally" at Crissy Field, despite the vociferous objections of San Francisco's Mayor Ed Lee and other Democratic leaders who say the group invites hate.

Gibson has said that his group doesn't harbor racist views and that hate groups are not welcome.

The rally in Berkeley, organized by a President Donald Trump supporter and billed as a rally against Marxism, was denied a permit by the city on Thursday. Berkeley Deputy City Manager Jovan Grogan told organizer Amber Cummings in a letter that her permit application was late and incomplete, didn't include details on how she will ensure safety, and lacked Cumming's proper identification.

Cummings, who identifies herself as a transgender patriot, planned the event on social media and has worn sunglasses or covered her face with a bandanna when speaking about the event.

The rally was scheduled to be held at Berkeley's Civic Center Park on Sunday afternoon. On Friday, however, Cummings released a lengthy statement asking that no one show up due to threats.

"I do not want the risk of violence happening or anyone getting hurt," she said. "I will attend this event alone."
Stay with ABC7 News for the latest details on this developing story.

Click here for a look back at stories and videos from recent protests.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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