SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — In the wake of the deadly attack at Charlottesville, another controversial group wants to hold a rally later this month in San Francisco’s Crissy Field.
But city leaders and federal lawmakers are lined up to stop it.
A group called Patriot Prayer has a permit to have an event on Saturday, August 26, at Crissy Field, which falls under the National Park Service’s jurisdiction.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says he told the National Park Service that if they want to allow the event in San Francisco, they better be prepared.
“If you’re not prepared, be honest about it, don’t just say you’re going to host a rally and then expect us to do mutual aid when something happens,” Lee said.
The mayor and the police chief met with the park service on Thursday to talk about public safety, especially after what happened with a group of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville.
Lee said, “I’ve had my chief articulate the best that we can all the things that we think are going to happen.”
Lee said, “We have to be first and foremost [focused on] public safety. That’s the number one – and then we have to remind everybody – look at what’s happened elsewhere. And do you really want that to happen? It’s not a fireside chat that we’re talking about – it’s not an academic exercise of free speech.”
He says groups like Patriot Prayer attract violent people.
Lee said, “People who are coming in — and we have every right to believe this – attract others who are hatemongers who really want to engage in physical violence who think that through physical violence, the attention getting is important to them.”
Mayor Lee says Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein are each calling the National Park Service twice a day to express their concerns and the public danger of holding this event.
The day after the Crissy Field event, Berkeley is bracing for similar protests.
The city doesn’t want to see violence like that which surrounded the appearance of right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.
A Cal spokesman says they’re prepared to spend half-a million dollars to protect the campus.
The event is planned for Civic Center Park on August 27th.