An Aug. 26 rally planned at Crissy Field by the group Patriot Prayer has San Francisco politicians from Rep. Nancy Pelosi to Mayor Ed Lee denouncing it as hateful, with warnings that past rallies by the group have attracted white supremacists, neo Nazis, alt-right militiamen and violence. In the wake of this news, Joey Gibson, the prominent organizer of Patriot Prayer, has decided to speak out. In an effort to afford him clarity and let the people of San Francisco parse his words unfiltered, we are publishing Gibson’s words in the context of the interview, edited only for clarity.
What do you say to San Francisco’s oppositional reaction to your rally?
I’m pretty used to it. But they took it to the next level this time. I’ve never been called a white supremacist.
But your rallies have attracted such people in the past, news outlets have said. Will you keep out hateful people like white supremacists?
It depends. If there’s a permit we’re going to keep as many hateful people out as possible. I constantly promote love. In love, you don’t see skin color. I’m trying to focus on who people are on the inside. The biggest reason [to organize the rally] is to give people a voice.
You said you wanted to tour the “liberal” West Coast. Why?
There’s something happening on the West Coast. There’s a lot of liberals I have common ground with. Moderates. But the liberals, the Antifas, that’s how they spread hate. They want me to be this extreme right guy, that’s not who I am. I believe the extremists are destroying the country on both sides. Take Charlottesville, that’s the perfect example.
OK, if you’re down the middle, who do you agree with on the left?
In my view, half of America. Gay rights, being against the drug war.
How about specific people?
I just think the biggest problem is, on the right, they just want to go to war all the time. The Patriot Act, for instance. I see [in terms of] more freedom or less freedom.
In a Facebook live event you said San Francisco is disgusting. What did you mean?
Downtown San Francisco just looks horrible. I’m not blaming the left. It’s the hate, and the drugs.
Do you mean the homeless?
No. I used to be homeless. That’s not what makes it disgusting. San Francisco is very intolerant. It’s constant hate. If you don’t fit their narrative, you get disowned.
What ethnicity are you, by the way?
Your rallies have become violent in the past. How will you stop violence from overtaking your rally?
The big part is security, and the mood and the vibe and the message.
So how much are you spending on security?
I’m not spending any money on security. It’s the Oath Keepers [who will provide security voluntarily].
Will they be armed?
It depends on the laws. All of them have concealed carry in California. We’ll see, it depends on the permit.
Have the GGNRA been cooperative?
To my face, yeah. The Antifa is notorious for getting people to call by the thousands. Now, I can’t even call. I have to email, and they call me back.
How do you feel about the political pushback?
[Nancy] Pelosi is lying for her own selfish reasons. She quadrupled the size of the rally. She made it more dangerous, with complete lies.
What about San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee?
It’s the same. It’s a complete lie for political gain [that the rally is a white supremacist rally].
But your rallies have attracted white supremacists, skinheads and neo-Nazis before. Why should anyone believe they will not, again?
We won’t let any extremists speak. We’ll let moderates speak. It’s a big part of the goal. We have 10 speakers now, and out of them, we have one white male speaking. There’s guy named Jake Von Ott, with Identity Europa, we tried not to let him in. There’s nothing we can do about [him attending]. We don’t want him there. We made signs saying we don’t support Identity Europa. I’ve literally disowned white supremacists [in his videos]. It’s getting old. We will not let them in. We’re not going to let the flags in. I give you my word, it’s a promise.
What’s your message to San Francisco?
Do your own research. Nancy [Pelosi] is trying to keep people away from the rally, so they don’t participate with our message.
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