Shortly after the organizer of a far-right rally planned for San Francisco’s Crissy Field on Saturday called off the event, the organizer of a “No to Marxism in America” rally planned for Berkeley on Sunday appears to have followed suit.
According to a letter ostensibly written by Amber Cummings and shared with the San Francisco Chronicle, she no longer wants anybody to attend the event.
“In light of all the violent threats taking place and the past history of police being ordered to stand down at Prior Rallies in Berkeley this gives me grave concerns for the safety of the people attending my event,” Cummings wrote in the letter. Chronicle reporter Michael Bodley said on Twitter that he could verify that the statement was written by the organizer.
In the letter, Cummings wrote that the rally will “take place, but it will be me alone attending, no one else please.” There is no indication yet that those planning to come to the Civic Center Park event will follow her request.
“If they do you will be turned away,” she wrote. “I’m sorry for this but I want this event to happen peacefully and I do not want to risk anyone getting turned away.”
In her permit application — rejected by the city of Berkeley because it was submitted past the deadline and incomplete — Cummings said she expected 300 people to show up to her rally. Many people have posted on social media that they were planning to come from out of town for both the Berkeley and San Francisco events, which were together billed as a “free speech weekend.”
But while Cummings asked her supporters to stay away, Yvette Felarca, a Berkeley leader of the far-left group By Any Means Necessary, called on her followers still to protest in San Francisco on Saturday and in Berkeley on Sunday. At a press conference on Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley on Friday evening, Felarca questioned the motivation behind the cancellations, suggesting it was a trick by the right-wing to prompt anti-fascists to drop their guard.
Felarca said those opposed to the right and President Donald Trump should come out in large numbers to show that fascists “are not welcome in Berkeley.”
“We are going to make sure they don’t come back,” she said. The founder of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, organizers of the rally slated for San Francisco, announced in a Facebook Live video Friday afternoon that he had decided to cancel the event.
Joey Gibson cited safety concerns and said Crissy Field was “a setup,” criticizing the media and Nancy Pelosi among others. He said he plans to hold a press conference Saturday at 2 p.m. in Alamo Square instead.
Just over an hour before Cummings canceled her event, Gibson said, “We are all excited for Berkeley!!”
So far Cummings has not posted anything on social media about the possible cancellation.
Around 5:50 p.m. Friday the city of Berkeley released the rules it and the county will be imposing for any rally that does take place Sunday, Aug. 27, at Civic Center Park.
Berkeleyside will update this story as new information becomes available.