Focus shifts to Alamo Square for Patriot Prayer event

The National Park Service officially announced on Friday night that the “Freedom Rally,” hosted by the Portland-based group Patriot Prayer, will no longer take place on Saturday.

Instead, Joey Gibson and other organizers with Patriot Prayer announced earlier that the group will hold a press conference at Alamo Square Park on Saturday — with many of the same speakers expected.

Despite the group having no permit, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said he had no plans to prevent or block the event in advance. Scott said earlier on Friday at a community meeting in the Marina that spontaneous events do occur in The City without a permit, and that his department would make a decision on shutting down the event or letting it continue based on actions and behaviors during the event if it becomes unlawful or violent:

“…We still have to prepare for contingencies.”

Late Friday night, Mayor Ed Lee received confirmation from the National Park Service of the cancelled event, and said there will be a heavy police presence at Alamo Square Park on Saturday:

“No permits have been requested or issued for Alamo Square this weekend. SFPD will have an enhanced presence at Alamo Square and in the surrounding neighborhoods. I want to reinforce that existing San Francisco law prohibits firearms and weapons in city parks. Those who seek to commit acts of violence or damage property will be arrested and prosecuted.”

The National Park Service via their website said Friday night Patriot Prayer organizer Joey Gibson has “relinquished” his First Amendment permit for the planned Saturday rally at Crissy Field.

Before the announcement of the cancelled Crissy Field rally, Lee, Scott and Supervisor Mark Farrell held an emergency public safety community at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre to hear concerns from Marina District businesses and residents.

Cicely Muldoon, acting general superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, said in a statement that Crissy Field will be open to the public on Saturday:

“We thank the community for your patience over the last week and your continued support of the Presidio.”

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency also announced late Friday night that Muni service will be run as normally scheduled on Saturday to and from the Marina.