White Nationalist Rallies Planned in Cities Across California
State and local authorities in California are determined to prevent the kind of violence and chaos seen in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend amid several upcoming rallies by white supremacists and other far right groups.
The Laguna Beach Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and officers from other cities across the county are conversing daily ahead of an America First event planned for this Sunday at Main Beach. Meanwhile, mayors, city councilman and other elected officials are speaking out to make their opposition to the groups’ agenda known.
One of those was Jess Arreguin, mayor of Berkeley. A demonstration is scheduled there for Aug. 27 at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park.
“This rally, and its hateful rhetoric, is not welcome in Berkeley,” Arreguin said.
Another group, led by blogger Joey Gibson, is planning a Patriots Prayer one day earlier at San Francisco’s Crissy Field. Despite the organizer’s insistence that he condemns white supremacy, a group of California lawmakers have called on the National Parks Service to revoke his permit.
The American Civil Liberties Union also issued a statement on the upcoming events, underscoring the ongoing debate over the need to balance public safety and free speech rights.
“If white supremacists march into our towns armed to the teeth and with the intent to harm people, they are not engaging in activity protected by the United States Constitution,” the statement said. “The 1st Amendment should never be used as a shield or sword to justify violence.”