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50 years in 50 weeks: 2017: SF shuts down right-wing protesters

by BAR staff

Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive  

It was August 2017 when San Francisco activists and officials got word far-right Patriot Prayer group planned to hold a "free speech" rally at Crissy Field. Organizer Joey Gibson apparently got cold feet, however, and abruptly canceled the event and sent counterprotesters scrambling. (He eventually held a news conference at a Pacifica apartment.) In the end, thousands of LGBTQs and allies flooded the streets of San Francisco, as our August 31 issue reported, protesting against the fringe white supremacist elements that sparked violence in Charlottesville, Virginia just weeks earlier and elicited the anger of many when then-President Donald Trump made his infamous "both sides" were responsible for the violence comments. Demonstrators also tangled with Trump supporters in Berkeley later that weekend, where Gibson did show up, escorted by police. All in all, the free speech actions that summer energized activists. To read the issue, click here.
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