San Francisco’s mayor said Saturday’s protests against a right-wing “freedom rally” that never happened were peaceful celebrations of love.
Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson and other scheduled speakers at the rally said at a news conference that Democratic Mayor Ed Lee wrongly labeled them as a hate group, needlessly raising tensions and stirring emotions in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Lee defended his characterization of the group and the city’s response, which included ordering all available police officers to duty.
He said that “certain voices” will find it difficult to be heard in San Francisco, and that people who want to speak need to have a message that “contributes to people’s lives rather than find ways to hurt them.”
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said there was one arrest Saturday for public intoxication.