Protesters take to the streets of San Francisco in opposition of a planned right-wing rally by Patriot Prayer on Aug. 26, 2017.

Protesters take to the streets of San Francisco in opposition of a planned right-wing rally by Patriot Prayer on Aug. 26, 2017.

Patriot Prayer group leader says they’re returning to SF

http://sfexaminer.com/category/the-city/sf-news-columns/on-guard/

Here we go again: Patriot Prayer announced they’re coming back to San Francisco.

On Sept. 17 the right-wing group’s organizer, Joey Gibson, wrote on Facebook that the group would return to the Bay Area.

“Berkeley and San Francisco heads up…. Patriot Prayer will be in town and march next week,” he wrote.

SEE RELATED: Patriot Prayer rally cost SF nearly $1 million, Mayor Lee to seek reimbursement

That’s seemingly set to be timed to coincide with Milo Yiannopoulos’ free speech week, which reportedly has been canceled. Still, the “Berkeley Rally Against White Supremacy” counter protest is scheduled for Monday.

Gibson told me via text message his group would be in the Bay Area Tuesday and Wednesday. When I asked where Patriot Prayer would go, he texted me, “Everywhere.”

I asked what he meant.

“We will be everywhere,” he replied.

Short of turning into the Flash, I was still a bit confused, and asked him to illuminate again. Gibson wrote, “I can’t give you specific details on what we are doing but it will be different but the same as what we did last time in SF.”

Different but the same? Well, that clarifies everything!

To be clear, what he did last time was cancel his rally a day before it was set to take place Aug. 26 at Crissy Field, and and instead hopped over to Pacifica as 15,000 or so San Franciscans marched in opposition to Patriot Prayer. Gibson and his followers eventually swung back into The City, and led counter-protesters and journalists on a merry chase from neighborhood to neighborhood.

At one point, he made his way to Civic Center, where counter-rally was held to promote love earlier in the day.

One of the few stragglers was a self-identified transgender woman who calls herself The Supergirl. She told me she felt Gibson and Patriot Prayer were misunderstood, and that she cried as she hugged Gibson and could feel his positive “energy.”

Well, to be fully accurate, I told her I needed to leave and walked away as she continued to sing Gibson’s praises loudly enough her voice echoed around City Hall’s dome a block away. Yeesh.

By contrast, the Rev. Megan Rohrer, a frequent rabble rouser in San Francisco, tweeted earlier this month that “On Aug 15, 2017 Joey said ’there are good members of Antifa.’ He is on whatever side the person he is talking to is on.”

It should be mentioned that the Oath Keepers, a militia that likely would not find many supporters in our lefty town, backed out of Patriot Prayer’s rally (before it was canceled) partly because Gibson scheduled Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman — who allegedly has direct white nationalist ties — as a speaker.

Still, Gibson was vague enough that I’d take it all with a huge ol’ grain of salt. If he does come, it’s a shame it may be Monday and not this weekend …

Can you imagine the right-wing Patriot Prayer accidentally finding themselves wandering through the leather-filled Folsom Street Fair on Sunday? Now that would’ve been a serious hoot.

On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at joe@sfexaminer.com, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter, and Facebook at facebook.com/FitztheReporter.

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