Weighing in on San Francisco Patriot Prayer Rally at Crissy Field

“When asked if that approach was simply bringing more attention to the other side, Nathan replied, America has never confronted bigotry the way we need to. If it takes bringing attention to them, then let that be.”

Article reblogged from CBS Channel 5 News: SEE TV Broadcast here.

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Fear of a violent confrontation was simmering Wednesday ahead of a rally planned in San Francisco’s Crissy Field in late August as local leaders called for reconsideration.

The National Park Service has already granted a permit to the group “Patriot Prayer” for the Aug. 26 rally.

Concerns of the kind of violence seen in Charlottesville and at a recent Patriot Prayer in Seattle has local leaders and elected representatives calling on the federal government — which controls Crissy Field — to revoke the permit for the protest.

On Wednesday, Senator Dianne Feinstein added her voice to the chorus of officials calling for the NPS to deny the permit for Patriot Prayer.

“According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Patriot Prayer attracts white nationalists and other hate groups to its rallies with the intent to provoke unrest between those groups and counter-protesters,” Sen. Feinstein wrote in a letter to Cicely Muldoon, General Superintendent with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. “I am alarmed at the prospect that Crissy Field will be used as a venue for Patriot Prayer’s incitement, hate, and intimidation.”

Rep. Nancy Pelosi said she wants the NPS to consider the consequences of what might happen if a large group of protesters and counter-protesters converge.

“I have asked the Park Service if they have seriously evaluated there capacity to ensure the safety of those who would attend such a rally,” said Pelosi.

Sam Singer — who specializes in corporate crisis control — agreed with that assessment.

“If there is no counter protest, all the public sees is a bunch of guys dressed as sort of right-wing military nut jobs talking to themselves,” said Singer. “What is going to get them the attention is when there is a counter protest and there is a huge fight, because that gets news interest.”

San Francisco Supervisor London Breed joined Mayor Ed Lee and police Chief Bill Scott Tuesday in sending a letter to the National Park Service to express their “outrage.”

State Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblymen Phil Ting and David Chiu also sent letters to the park service expressing concerns about the rally.

“As public officials we are used to differences in ideology, but the events in Charlottesville, complete with violence and protesters armed with automatic weapons, have moved us past any sense of civil discourse or peaceful assembly,” that letter reads. “If this rally goes forward, we are extremely concerned for the public safety of the people of our city.”

While officials are mostly united in their position against the rally, a KPIX 5 Survey USA poll shows that 47 percent of Bay Area residents responding said the group should be allowed to hold their protest at Crissy Field.

34 percent said they shouldn’t.

The poll also found 37 percent of people think the Bay Area is becoming less tolerant of different views.

27 percent responded that it is becoming more tolerant, while 25 percent said it’s about the same as always.

On Wednesday, Pelosi also offered advice to those planning to protest.

“I would say to not play into their hands,” said Pelosi. “We expect that if they are there, that other people will be there to protest them. I would recommend that they do so with dignity and silence.”

But with the violent images of Charlotesville still fresh in the public’s mind, counter protest organizer Melanie Nathan with the African Human Rights Coalition argues it’s no time to back down.

“It’s critical that there be counter demonstrations,” countered Nathan. “If we stayed away, it might be interpreted as tacit approval, and that could absolutely never be.

In reaction to that opposition, Patriot Prayer organizer Joey Gibson — who led the demonstrations in Seattle and Portland — was doubling down as well.

“The people at the top, they are doing everything they can to hold onto their power,” said Gibson.

The concerns over a possible outbreak of violence are not enough to discourage Nathan.

“Personally I would want to confront them directly,” she said.

When asked if she wanted the confrontation even if it resulted in violence as with past clashes in Berkeley, Nathan said, “It is dangerous and I’m a peaceful person, but I’m not afraid to confront somebody who is talking violence – I will in the name of peace.”

“When asked if that approach was simply bringing more attention to the other side, Nathan replied, America has never confronted bigotry the way we need to. If it takes bringing attention to them, then let that be.”

On Wednesday evening, there were several protesters waving signs along Crissy Field to voice their opposition to white supremacists gathering in the park.

The ACLU of California issued a statement about the planned rallies in the Bay Area that read in part, “We review each request for help on a case-by-case basis, but take the clear position that the First Amendment does not protect people who incite or engage in violence. If white supremacists march into our towns armed to the teeth and with the intent to harm people, they are not engaging in activity protected by the United States Constitution. The First Amendment should never be used as a shield or sword to justify violence.”

READ MORE

While I revere our Constitutional right to free speech, I abhor that it is touted and misused by those seeking to terrorize others and to instigate violence.   Where that motive is clear and can be proved, I believe permits should be denied. However because that is so difficult to prove ahead  of an event, it is highly likely that such a permit will be granted and not revoked. That said, if the authorities who are charged with having to protect protestors and the city and its people, are aware that a huge robust counter protest is developing, they will then have good cause to revoke the permit, based on the high risk of violence.

Educational/Informative Notes:

NOTE: ACLU – “We review each request for help on a case-by-case basis, but take the clear position that the #FirstAmendment does not protect people who incite or engage in violence. If white supremacists march into our towns armed to the teeth and with the intent to harm people, they are not engaging in activity protected by the United States #Constitution. The First Amendment should never be used as a shield or sword to justify violence.”

NOTES for safety: 

Shortly after the November 2016 election, Castro Patrol took part in 2 public safety workshops; one SOMA and one in the Castro. At that time, the attached document (link below) was produced to help the community prepare for possible attacks from right-winged organizations, and to remind people to turn to reputable news organizations to prevent spreading false rumors or fanning fear.

Time for Awareness_161121_2,pdf

VIA INDIVISIBLE:

IMPORTANT ACTION OF THE DAY!

The article below in today’s SF Chronicle states that the National Park Service is considering revoking the permit for the White Supremacist rally to be held at Chrissy Field on August 26. They are LISTENING TO THE PUBLIC in making this decision.

Danny Altman of Mill Valley Community Action Network turned up this great action. Please follow the instructions below ASAP as the decision is being considered now.

1) Go to nps.gov/goga
2) Scroll down to “PERMITS–Picnics, Weddings, Film, etc.”
3) Click on that and scroll down to “FIRST AMENDMENT PERMITS”
4) Click on “PLEASE EMAIL US”
5) Where it says “SUBJECT LINE” write “AUG 26TH PATRIOT PRAYER PERMIT”
6) Write your comment.


Alternate events are popping up all over city to counter the Rally, as a form of counter protest, 

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW … the counter demonstration -Organizers note ” because we don’t want to give those Neo-Nazis any attention – is Sat Aug 26th sometime between noon and 1pm at Civic Center Plaza – we will be providing stuff for kids to do and a stage with really good performers – I know some of you will be marching there and some will just be simply arriving – we will be there for a bunch of hours – the theme is PEACE MUSIC AND LAUGHTER and hopefully we can provide each other just that rather than the hate the other group provides. If you have questions just ask but I have some thing to ask of you – PLEASE SHARE THIS POST SO EVERYONE KNOWS WHERE TO GO TO HAVE THEIR PRESENCE KNOWN – we will be peaceful and safe and having fun instead of fielding hate – #NO2Hate and I repeat #NO2Hate


UPDATED: News Article 

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 4.44.07 PM.png

Jewish news
https://www.jweekly.com/2017/08/18/bay-area-jews-differ-responses-upcoming-white-supremacist-rallies/ READ MORE

 

_________TAKE ACTION _______

If you would like to express your feelings on this subject – perhaps speak to your concerns for the safety of the people of San Francisco , here are some pertinent numbers to call:

National Parks Service Golden Gate Recreation Area’s Superintendent’s Office 415-561-4720

George Durgerian, Special Events & Beach Fires
(415) 561-4302

Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, (415) 561-4723

Melinda Moses, Large Events north of Golden Gate Bridge
(415) 561-4301

Katie Beltrano, Outdoor Ceremonies, Small Picnics
(415) 561-4373

Also email the following people at the Golden Gate Recreation Area:

Superintendent Cicely Muldoon cicely_muldoon@nps.gov

Deputy Superintendent Carey Feierabend carey_feierabend@nps.gov

Director of Communications and External Affairs Sonja Hanson sonja_hanson@nps.gov

SF Mayor Ed Lee’s office 415-554-6141

You can also call all San Francisco city supervisors:

Sandra Lee Fowler: (415) 554-7410
Mark Ferrell: (415) 554-7752
Aaron Peskin: (415) 554-7450
Katy Tang: (415) 554-7460
London Breed: (415) 554-7630
Jane Kim: (415) 554-7970
Norman Yee: (415) 554-5184
Jeff Sheehy: (415) 554-6968
Hillary Ronen: (415) 554-5144
Malia Cohen: (415) 554-7670
Ahsha Safaí: (415) 554-6975
Don’t know who your supervisor is? http://propertymap.sfplanning.org/?name=sffind

 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s