SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After a day of canceled protests and counter-protests against the canceled protests, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee issued a statement thanking people for maintaining the peace.
“Today, the people of San Francisco, once again, peacefully united to reject hate and violence. I want to thank the residents, the community groups, the activists, members of the Board of Supervisors and all San Franciscans that led and participated in peaceful gatherings and marches. Throughout our city the theme of love and compassion loudly dominated the rhetoric of hate and violence.
I am incredibly grateful to all the public safety agencies who continue to work hard this evening to keep our city safe: police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, 911 emergency dispatchers, deputy sheriffs and highway patrol officers. Thank you to the city employees that dedicated so much effort to the many peaceful gatherings around the city: Recreation and Park, Public Works, Department of Public Health, Municipal Transportation Agency, among others.
This year, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. The events of today prove that the
legacy of that movement remains strong, half a century later.”
Thousands of people gathered at City Hall Saturday for a ““Peace, Love and Understanding” rally with music and speakers.
Earlier, however, demonstrators clashed with police at Alamo Square, where organizers of the Patriot Prayer rally vowed to move from their earlier venue at Chrissy Field. That rally never happened, but one woman among the counter-protesters was detained.
Demonstrators who came out to decry the Patriot Rally marched in the streets of San Francisco, and at one point, police shut down a major freeway to keep them from going there.
Patriot Prayer leaders held a news conference in Pacifica. Spokesperson Joey Gibson said, ““We cancelled the rally because we thought it was the best thing for the city.” Gibson said he was being followed by Antifa and feared the day would have ended in a “huge riot.” He insists his organization is conservative but not racist, and not part of the white nationalist or white supremacist movement.