Thousands participate in San Francisco anti-hate march

    Thousands march from Alamo Square Park to the intersection of 24th and Mission street.

    Counter-protesters against a far-right rally march from Alamo Square Park to the intersection of 24th and Mission Street on Saturday, Aug. 26. The throng stretched for over four blocks, and one police officer estimated attendance at over 5,000. Photo: Sophia Muys

     The City of San Francisco can now breathe a sigh of relief as an ‘anti-hate’ march, which lasted from Saturday morning to the late afternoon in opposition to Portland-based far right-wing group Patriot Prayer’s attempts to hold a rally at Crissy Field, proved to be largely peaceful.

    As the latest left-leaning city to be visited by far-right groups such as Patriot Prayer, San Francisco followed in the footsteps of Boston on Aug.19, where thousands of counter-protesters marched peacefully in opposition to a similar rightist group.

    Those counter-protesting the rally held by Patriot Prayer congregated at Alamo Square Park, where Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson was set to hold a press conference after he cancelled his group’s permit-approved rally, according to a Youtube livestream he conducted on Friday.

    However, this plan was halted abruptly when police barred all access the park. In response, marchers mobilized towards San Francisco’s Mission District. Many then traveled downtown for a rally at Civic Center organized by the city. 

    Gibson and around 20 supporters eventually returned to Crissy Field in the late afternoon, where they held a small gathering under a tree for about an hour, as counter-protesters demonstrated nearby, according the San Francisco Chronicle.

    “We need to visibly be part of numbers that are against Nazis and against Trump,” said Cathy, a protester sporting bright pink hair and lifting a sign that read “cats against Trump.” “We need to be here and show people power.”

    A protester raises her fist while the marchers chant "No Nazis, no KKK, no fascist USA".

    A protester raises her fist while the marchers chant “No Nazis, no KKK, no fascist USA.” She holds flowers in her hand, which were given out to the marchers by the group Flowers Against Hate. Photo: Sophia Muys

    The march’s peaceful tone was a relief for the city of San Francisco, which had been gearing up for potential violence weeks in advance, in light of the clash between ‘alt-right’ protesters and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 12.

    Only one arrest was made in relation to the rally on grounds of public intoxication, according to a statement by the San Francisco Police Department.

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