Neo-Nazis Forced to Cancel Rally After Massive Counter Protest Blockades Them Inside

Neo-Nazis and white supremacists had promised a huge rally in San Francisco on Saturday, but as with anywhere else they’ve tried to gather after Charlottesville, things didn’t go so well.

After word got out that the extremists would be marching in town for what they called a “freedom rally,” Bay-area activists mobilized a “San Francisco Against Hate” counter protest. Following tensions with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee over the event, San Franciscans creating a field of dog feces at the planned venue and word of popular resistance, the neo-Nazis canceled the event.

“It doesn’t seem safe,” Joey Gibson, founder of the Oregon-based hat group Patriot Prayer that organized the rally. “The rhetoric from Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Lee, the media, all these people are saying that we’re white supremacists and is bringing tons of extremists.”

The counter-protest went ahead anyway, and the turnout was massive. Take a look:

After canceling the event, Gibson promised an “indoor news conference” and sending out smaller cells to turn up at “random spots” in the city to speak.

The city even closed Alamo Square Park, where Patriot Prayer organizers had tried to relocate to, a move which had not been approved by the city.

At this point, the neo-Nazi organizers seemed content to broadcast over Periscope from their hotel rooms:

The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA earlier this month seemed like a coming out party for neo-Nazis and white supremacists — and the White House didn’t seem to mind — but as antifascists, Black Lives Matter and Americans in cities across the country have proven, the best way to keep hate groups on the run is to meet them in the streets they try to claim as their own.

It worked in Boston and dozens of other cities. It worked in San Francisco today. And it worked in Berkeley, where a planned neo-Nazi rally on Sunday was also canceled.