Activist, author, and NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt founder Cleve Jones is teaming with Juanita More to stage a counter protest, called Come Together, on Saturday August 26th in the Castro.
The assembly is coordinated to provide a safe location to speak out against the misleadingly named Patriot Prayer Freedom Rally taking place at the same time at Crissy Field. That event is expected to draw members of the so-called alt-right—white supremacists, racists, KKK members, and neo-Nazis—nominally to celebrate their First Amendment rights, but specifically to spew the message of hatred and violence.
"We've got a proud history here in this town of race and diversity and choosing love over hate," says Jones. "I think for all of us it's quite shocking to have these people come here. They're trying to cloak what they're about, but we know what they're about. The fact is they're racists."
On August 22nd, Jones and More also launched a fundraising campaign, No Hate SF, to accept donations that will be dispersed among groups targeted by right-wing extremists. Jones hopes to raise $100,000 by week's end. Groups receiving those donations include:
- Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center
- Disability Rights and Education Defense Fund
- Friendship House/Association of American Indians of San Francisco
- La Raza Community Resource Center
- Muslim Advocates
- National Center for Lesbian Rights
- Planned Parenthood
- San Francisco NAACP
- San Francisco Jewish Community Center
- San Francisco LGBT Center
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Transgender Law Center
Tears of PrideJ. MAnuel Carmona
"More and more people are coming to understand that everything we dreamed for, everything we've hoped for, really hangs in the balance right now," says Jones. "This isn't just an isolated case with a bunch of nut jobs trying to grab some camera time in San Francisco. This is part of a very concerted national campaign to divide our country and to cause chaos and to tear us apart. We're not going to let that happen." // Come Together Rally & March, noon to 2pm, Aug. 26th at Harvey Milk Plaza (Castro), facebook.com/events
For more demonstrations in San Francisco this weekend, don't miss our ongoing roundup. Plus, take our pledge for peaceful resistance.