S.F. Leaders Vow Fight to Stop Far-Right Rally–Don’t Need No Stinkin Free Speech in San Fran

Conservatives follow the rules and ask for permits for rallies.  The Totalitarian Left just shows up, battles cops, burn and loot stores and burn cars.  So, San Fran had to give a permit to a conservative group.  Sadly, but expected, the City and the conservatives got death threats and threats of violence.  Finally, the conservative group, via bullying, was forced to cancel their rally.  This is free speech in America in 2017—bullies have ended the First Amendment right to free speech.

A Rose Festival Parade in Portland, Oregon was cancelled because they were afraid of violence.  Why?  Because a group of Trump supporters wanted to participate.  A whole parade, held annually for decades, cancelled, due to the Totalitarian Left bullies.

““We are not welcoming this group into San Francisco to promote hate,” Mayor Ed Lee said at a press conference Tuesday announcing the city’s opposition to the rally. “We think that the National Parks Service, without adequate evaluation and conditions, would do just that and would then, I think, increase opportunities for violence in our city and on the shores of federal property.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco representatives in the state Legislature on Tuesday also announced their opposition to the rally.

San Fran tolerant?  As tolerant of Peking is of the Internet and free newspapers.  Think Putin hates the media?  His ideological friends, like Pelosi, hate the idea of free speech.

Protesters chant during a May Day demonstration outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco on Monday. Thousands are expected to take to the streets across the United States to participate in May Day demonstrations.

S.F. Leaders Vow Fight to Stop Far-Right Rally

 

By Alex Emslie, KQED,  8/15/17

San Francisco city officials are united in their opposition to a right-wing rally planned on federal land near the Golden Gate Bridge later this month, and they’re hurling criticism at the National Parks Service for reportedly issuing a permit to the event’s organizers.

Portland-based “Patriot Prayer,” which is promoting an Aug. 26 “Freedom Rally” at Crissy Field, says it’s not a white supremacist or white nationalist organization. But the group has often rallied with militias and unequivocal white nationalists at other events around the country.

“We are not welcoming this group into San Francisco to promote hate,” Mayor Ed Lee said at a press conference Tuesday announcing the city’s opposition to the rally. “We think that the National Parks Service, without adequate evaluation and conditions, would do just that and would then, I think, increase opportunities for violence in our city and on the shores of federal property.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco representatives in the state Legislature on Tuesday also announced their opposition to the rally.

The National Parks Service Golden Gate National Recreation Area did not respond to request for comment. It’s unclear whether the service was aware of a letter Lee and other city leaders sent Tuesday afternoon that says San Francisco officials are “outraged with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s (GGNRA) decision to grant an event permit to Patriot Prayer on August 26 without proper planning and resources, given the public safety concerns.”

“To say that we are outraged is an understatement,” Board of Supervisors President London Breed said. “We will do everything that we can to stop you from being in San Francisco. We don’t want to see our city torn apart because of the hate and the violence that you continue to promote all over the country.”

Despite the strong rhetoric, opponents of the rally are likely on shaky legal ground, according to Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor specializing in First Amendment issues.

In places presumed to be public forums, like the park where Patriot Prayer plans to rally, the government can impose only “content-neutral restrictions, such as requiring some notice in advance so they can provide adequate protection,” Volokh said in an interview. “But those have to be content neutral. You can’t have one rule for Black Lives Matter protesters, one rule for animal rights protesters and another rule for white supremacist protesters.”

But though they’re stopping short of a legal threat at this point, San Francisco officials opposed to the rally are using the language of a legal argument. They’re saying Patriot Prayer and affiliated groups are likely to incite violence — and incitement is a well-established legal exception to the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.

“We are a city of tolerance. We do enjoy free speech, but I suggest to you there is a difference between free speech and hate speech with the intent of causing violence,” Lee said. “People are coming here to commit violence, not to have an academic dialogue, not to have a fire[side] chat on differences of opinion. They’re coming here to promote violence. They’re aiming their guns at our people, and we’re going to stop them.”

Law professor Volokh said it would likely be more difficult for the National Parks Service to revoke a permit, rather than reject or impose conditions before it was issued.

“Generally speaking, once the government issues a permit and then cancels it, there’s a pretty strong inference that it’s canceling it because of the viewpoint of the speakers,” he said. “That is unconstitutional.”

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said he is trying to coordinate a law enforcement response with the National Parks Service. He said SFPD is unlikely to set up a perimeter and allow far-right and far-left protesters to brawl — an approach taken in other cities.

“Our message is clear: Violence will not be tolerated in any form,” Scott said. But he acknowledged that SFPD won’t be able to do anything about the event at Crissy Field unless the National Parks Service asks the department for help — a process called “mutual aid.”

“This permit has been granted without the necessary contingencies to protect the safety of the public and with the expectation that the City and County of San Francisco will expend our resources to diffuse the situation,” the city’s letter to the National Parks Service says. “Furthermore, the permit was granted without adequate time to prepare the multi-agency response that will be required.”

Lee used another legalism in describing the threat of the protest — this one from a 1919 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that helped to define when free speech edges too close to triggering harm and loses its protection.

“We believe that without these conditions it’ll be like yelling fire in a crowded theater, that people will be placed in danger, and we don’t want that to happen in our city,” Lee said. “Unless they [the National Parks Service] are totally ignorant of the kinds of things that have happened recently across the country, and particularly in Charlottesville, then they’re playing with fire.”

 

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.