Patriot Prayer leader, politicians weigh in on San Francisco rally

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 05:35PM
ABC7 News spoke with Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, along with politicians Nancy Pelosi and Jackie Speier, right after he was notified that the National Park Service had granted him the permit to hold his rally Saturday.


SAN FRANCISCO - ABC7 News spoke with Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, along with politicians Nancy Pelosi and Jackie Speier, right after he was notified that the National Park Service had granted him the permit to hold his rally Saturday.

FULL LIST: Rallies and demonstrations planned for SF, Berkeley

Gibson told us he never doubted that the permit would be issued because it was "in the constitution, first amendment" right to hold it on federal grounds.

He said he wanted the rally to be peaceful and draw Bernie supporters, atheists, Christians, Muslims and others and that the rally was no place for Nazi sympathizers or white supremacists or radical leftwing opponents.

RELATED: Permit approved for right-wing rally at SF's Crissy Field

"No, I don't want any extremists," he said. "I'm sick of Antifa, the communists, the KKK, the white supremacists."

But Patriot Prayer rallies have been denounced by city leaders and other politicians as a forum for right wing extremists.

VIDEO: Pelosi discusses planned right-wing in SF
VIDEO: Rep. Pelosi discusses planned right-wing in SF

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, told ABC7 News that Crissy Field "is not a place for Nazi sympathizers to come and spew their negative message."

In the meantime, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, echoed her sentiments but says it was ultimately an issue of free speech and assembly. And she's just glad police are prepared for the worst.

VIDEO: Speier talks about SF's planned right-wing rally
VIDEO: Speier talks about SF's planned right-wing rally

"They were going to be permit or not," she said. "Now, they're guaranteed they're not bringing in any weapons or anything can be used as a weapon."

Gibson says he hopes it'll be a day without violence and one of "love, respect, kindness and being good to one another."

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