White Nationalist Rallies Coming to SF and Berkeley
Let me start off by saying that, if it were up to me, there would be zero press about these rallies and zero protesters would show up. That way it would be a sad group of 200 people chanting “Make America Great Again” at each other and then going home defeated because they weren’t able to get a rise out of us.
Unfortunately we all know that’s not gonna happen. There’s already plenty of press about this so I want to make sure we dwarf them in numbers so they know their hate speech is not welcome in The Bay.
Let’s be clear: these rallies are about Free Speech…nominally. I support their right to congregate and I support their right to speak freely. If we get those privileges so should they. BUT these rallies are obviously about way more than Free Speech. If they were simply a celebration of the First Amendment why weren’t they happening before Donnie ran for president and exacerbated peoples’ racially based fears?
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On August 26th a rally being billed as “Free Speech, Unity and Peace San Francisco” is being put on by Patriot Prayer, a right wing pro-Trump movement whose FB page says it’s about “fighting corruption and big government with the strength and power of love.” Patriot Prayer is run by Joey Gibson who often tells his followers not to be violent and to use love and kindness to turn opposition to their side.
I appreciate the sentiment and I stand behind it…or at least I would if it seemed true. It’s incredibly counterintuitive that so much violence should follow someone who preaches nonviolence. Gibson has done similar rallies in both Portland and Seattle and they’ve turned bloody. If Gibson truly wanted to extol the virtues of nonviolence, he wouldn’t invite Kyle Chapman to speak at the upcoming SF and Berkeley rallies. Chapman aka “Based Stickman” is a hero to White Nationalists/Nazis for being caught on camera beating a counter-protester with a stick in Berkeley. He’s also started his own violent organization called the “Alt-Knights”. Even if Gibson truly believes his own message, he’s not only attracting the wrong crowd, he’s hanging out with some real fucking dirtbags.
So here’s where we are at. On August 26th The Patriot Prayer rally will be happening at Crissy Field in SF 2pm. The following day another rally at Martin Luther King Park in Berkeley at noon.
Show up in solidarity to let these White Nationalists know that they and their grifting, lying, racist president are not welcome in The Bay. That said PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not incite violence. By all means, defend yourself and your comrades, but don’t start the shit. They will try and make you violent but don’t let them. I want all of us to come home alive.
If you want to take part in a counter protest you can:
Join Unafraid for the SF event. They’ve out a call to all Drag Performers and Sparkly Freaks.
Join Bay Area Rally Against Hate for the Berkeley event. It’s being endorsed by organized labor, interfaith religious groups, and various social justice organizations.
If you have more info about other counter protests leave it in the comments.