Politics

Right-wing group cancels Saturday San Francisco rally

Musician MC Hammer speaks at a rally in San Francisco, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, ahead of politically conservative rallies scheduled this weekend. Concerned about possible violence, city officials have urged residents to stay away from other gatherings on Saturday and Sunday.
Musician MC Hammer speaks at a rally in San Francisco, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, ahead of politically conservative rallies scheduled this weekend. Concerned about possible violence, city officials have urged residents to stay away from other gatherings on Saturday and Sunday.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

A right-wing group on Friday canceled a "freedom rally" it had planned for Saturday near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, removing one major source of feared violence for city leaders, though others remained.

The group, known as Patriot Prayer, instead planned a news conference at a park in the city on Saturday to explain what its leader Joey Gibson called the failure of police and elected officials to keep the group safe.

Gibson said the group also planned to join another rally on Sunday in nearby Berkeley — an anti-Marxist gathering hosted by a transgender Trump supporter.

The anti-Trump organization By Any Means Necessary, which has sometimes supported violent tactics, had vowed to shut down the Berkeley rally even before it gained new prominence with the cancellation of the Saturday event.

Gibson said the rhetoric of Mayor Ed Lee and other San Francisco leaders prompted the decision to replace the rally at Crissy Field with the news conference at Alamo Park.

Gibson has said the group disavows racism and hatred.

The civic leaders are on edge following the Aug. 12 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly.