A police officer stands between opposing sides during a right-wing rally at San Francisco’s City Hall on Friday, May 3, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Right-wing protesters rally at City Hall

“Rally for Free Speech” draws counter protest but ends without violence

A group of right-wing protesters gathered at San Francisco’s City Hall Friday for what was billed as “Rally for Free Speech” to protest perceived censorship by social media companies.

The protest drew around 50 to 70 people sporting “Make America Great Again” hats, pro-Trump signs and military-style clothing, as well as a smaller group of around two dozen left-wing counter protesters.

The protesters argued that the recent suspension of some far-right figures for behaviors such as bullying and hate speech demonstrates bias against conservative voices.

Prepared for trouble, city officials erected barricades around City Hall before the noon rally and dozens of police officers lined up between the two chanting groups of protesters in an attempt to keep them apart.

There was no violence, and no obvious weapons visible, but a number of angry verbal confrontations broke out between the two sides before the counter protesters left the scene and the crowd dispersed.

 

Police block a right-wing protester as she holds up a sign proclaiming support for Donald Trump during a rally on Friday, May 3, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Police act as a barricade between opposing groups during a right-wing rally at San Francisco City Hall on Friday, May 3, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner) Police act as a barricade between opposing groups during a right-wing rally at San Francisco City Hall on Friday, May 3, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Counter protesters gesture toward the right-wing rally on City Hall steps on Friday, May 3, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

A reporter with the conservative media gets asked to leave by a counter protester named Banasidhe during the right-wing rally at San Francisco City Hall on Friday, May 3, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Far-right protesters shake hands while wearing tactical helmets during the “Demand Free Speech” rally at San Francisco City Hall steps on Friday, May 3, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

A protester wearing a MAGA hat confronts counter-protesters on the other side of a police barricade during the “Demand Free Speech” rally at San Francisco City Hall on Friday, May 3, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Counter protesters argue with participants in the “Demand Free Speech” rally on Friday May 3, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Counter protesters hold a sign advocating for Donald Trump and Mike Pence to be removed from office on Friday, May 3, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

A man wearing MAGA gear records counter protester Banasidhe on Facebook Live during the “Demand Free Speech” rally on City Hall steps on Friday, May 3, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

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