By Associated Press - Friday, August 25, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Latest on conservative free speech rallies in San Francisco and Berkeley (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

San Francisco’s mayor says he doesn’t trust a right-wing group that says it’s canceling a rally in the city on Saturday.

Mayor Ed Lee said Friday night that despite organizers saying it’s called off, they have not cancelled the event in writing so the city is proceeding as though it’s still happening.

Lee says, “We don’t trust this group. I never have from the beginning.”

He also urged people not to show up at the news conference the group plans to hold instead of the rally.

Patriot Prayer head Joey Gibson said the rhetoric of Lee and other San Francisco leaders is what prompted the cancellation.

Gibson has said the group disavows racism and hatred.


5 p.m.

A second right-wing rally planned for the weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area has been canceled.

Organizer Amber Cummings released a statement Friday afternoon urging people not to come to her “No to Marxism in America” rally in Berkeley on Sunday. She said she is concerned for the safety of the people who might come to the event.

The cancellation comes almost immediately after a similar rally planned for Saturday in San Francisco was called off.

The organizer of that rally, Joey Gibson, said earlier that he and his followers from the group Patriot Prayer would be going to the Berkeley rally instead. He also plans a news conference at a park for Saturday afternoon.

Counter-demonstrations were planned for both of the now-cancelled rallies, and city leaders worried violence would break out.


3:45 p.m.

A right-wing group has canceled a “freedom rally” scheduled for Saturday in San Francisco that civic leaders had worried would turn violent.

Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson announced Friday that the group would instead hold a news conference at a San Francisco city park Saturday to explain what he called the failure of police and elected officials to keep the group safe.

He said the group would also join an unpermitted anti-Marxist rally across the bay in a Berkeley city park on Sunday that’s hosted by a transsexual Trump supporter.

Mayors in both cities say the two groups invite hate.

Gibson said the rhetoric prompted the decision to replace the rally at Crissy Field with the news conference at Alamo Park.


2:20 p.m.

A judge in California ordered the jailing of a conservative organizer who was scheduled to speak Saturday at a rally in San Francisco.

An Alameda County judge on Friday set bail for 41-year-old Kyle Chapman at $135,000.

Chapman was also told to stay 300 yards away from Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley on Sunday, when a “No to Marxism” rally is scheduled.

Chapman, of Daly City, was arrested and charged with possession of a weapon after authorities said he was seen on video hitting a counter-protester over the head with a billy club during a chaotic March 4 demonstration in the Berkeley park.

Chapman describes himself in social media as a proud American nationalist and ardent Trump supporter.

He said in a Facebook posting on Thursday that he planned to attend both rallies regardless of the outcome of his Friday arraignment.


12:40 p.m.

About 200 people are dancing to “Oh, Happy Day” at a demonstration against hate organized by San Francisco city officials ahead of politically conservative rallies set for this weekend.

Some people in the crowd outside City Hall on Friday held red, white and blue signs that read “Unite Against Hate.”

Concerned about possible violence, city officials have urged residents to stay away from other gatherings on Saturday and Sunday.

Micki Esken says she is unsure whether to attend Saturday’s protest against a “freedom rally” being held at Crissy Field. She says she might go to spread her message of love and hope.

She believes people can’t just love their friends and people like them.


9:30 a.m.

Dog walkers are planning to protest a politically conservative free-speech rally by leaving pup poop at San Francisco’s Crissy Field.

A Facebook page encourages protesters to let their dogs loose Friday and Saturday morning at the park near the Golden Gate Bridge and not pick up after them.

The page assures dog owners that they can come together Sunday to clean up the field of feces and “hug each other.”

Portland, Oregon-based Patriot Prayer has a permit to host a 2 p.m. “freedom rally” Saturday at Crissy Field, despite the vociferous objections of San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee and other Democratic leaders who say the group invites hate.

Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson says that his group doesn’t harbor racist views and that hate groups are not welcome.


8:00 a.m.

A California city has denied a permit for a weekend demonstration organized by a President Donald Trump supporter and billed as a rally against Marxism.

Berkeley Deputy City Manager Jovan Grogan tells organizer Amber Cummings in a letter that her permit application was late and incomplete, doesn’t include details on how she will ensure safety, and lacks Cumming’s proper identification.

Cummings, who identifies herself as a transgender patriot, planned the event on social media and has worn sunglasses or covered her face with a bandanna when speaking about the event.

The rally was scheduled to be held at Berkeley’s Civic Center Park on Sunday afternoon.

Cummings didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Demonstrators with varying political viewpoints are planning to be in the San Francisco Bay Area for rallies throughout the weekend.

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