SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) —The leader of a far-right group set to hold a free speech rally in San Francisco on Saturday has called off the event, citing concerns about safety.
Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson joined other organizers in a Facebook Live broadcast Friday to announce the “Freedom Rally” at Crissy Field had been canceled.
In the days leading up to the rally, the group was denounced by San Francisco officials who unsuccessfully sought to have a permit for the event denied by the National Park Service.
“After several conversations with the police and understanding, you know, the situation of what’s going on we decided that tomorrow really seems like a setup, it doesn’t seem safe, a lot of people’s lives are going to be in danger tomorrow. The rhetoric from Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Lee, the media, all these people are saying that we’re white supremacists and it’s bringing in tons of extremists. And it seems just like a huge setup.
Gibson said the group would hold a press conference at 2:00 p.m. at Alamo Park in the city to talk about what led up to the decision to cancel the event. He called on Mayor Lee to provide security against left-wing militants and anti-fascists, or Antifa.
Local counter-protesters have organized numerous actions this weekend to oppose the event in Crissy Field, as well as the No to Marxism in America rally scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday in Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Park.
It was not immediately clear how Saturday’s cancellation will affect events organized by counter-protesters.
Gibson said the group would be present at the anti-Marxist rally in Berkeley Sunday.
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