Home / U.S. / Hundreds of demonstrators turn out in San Francisco to denounce white supremacists

Hundreds of demonstrators turn out in San Francisco to denounce white supremacists

Hundreds of protesters gathered at a San Francisco park Saturday morning and demanded to be allowed past police barricades to protest supporters of a far-right rally that was canceled.

The group gathered around 11:30 a.m. at Alamo Square Park, where the organizer of a “Freedom Rally” was scheduled to hold a news conference. That 2 p.m. conference was canceled.

City officials had shut down the park and erected fencing around it Saturday morning. They said a permit was never issued for the news conference.

Dozens of demonstrators shouting, “Let us in,” and holding signs that said, “Resist the right.” stood at the intersection of Fell and Steiner streets Saturday morning, surrounding a few dozen city police officers on motorcycles wearing riot helmets.

As of Saturday morning, the event’s Facebook page listed the rally as canceled. The organizer, Amber Cummings, said in a Facebook message to The Times on Friday that she was “asking that no one come to my event.”

Cummings cited “grave concerns for the safety of the people attending my event.”

Cummings wrote that she still planned to go to Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park on Sunday but that “I will attend this event alone.”

“I’m sorry for this but I want this event to happen peacefully and I do not want to risk anyone getting harmed,” Cummings wrote.

Berkeley officials had expressly banned weapons, sticks, projectiles and even soda cans from gatherings of more than 100 people within the city limits.

Cummings had sought a permit, but was denied. She said the city manager’s office told her Wednesday that the permit application failed to include plans for first aid and sanitary services, and that she had failed to provide sufficient identification.

News that Saturday’s rally had been canceled was seen as a partial victory by counter-protesters.

“Wow, it sounds like we’re having success ahead of time,” Shanta Driver, the Chicago-based counsel for By Any Means Necessary, said as she waited to board a plane to the Bay Area.

Driver said the cancellation showed “white nationalists know they are a tiny minority in America, and there was absolutely no way they could rally in the city of San Francisco.”

Not so, she said, for the city’s neighbor across the bay, with its recent history of showdowns between white nationalists and anti-fascists.

“I think the people who are coming to Berkeley, they come armed and ready, and they come to do physical harm,” Driver said.

james.queally@latimes.com

paigest.john@latimes.com

ben.oreskes@latimes.com

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Source: us rutur

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