Silence is Violence

From dog poop to clown noses: San Francisco gets creative for Saturday's alt-right rally.

Protesters risk arrest while blocking the tracks of Caltrain near Fourth and King. (Jane Hu/Special to S.F. Examiner)

It’s official: On Saturday, members of Patriot Prayer, a Portland alt-right group, will descend upon San Francisco for a “Freedom Rally.” Despite their claims on Facebook that “No extremists will be allowed in,” and that “Nazis, Communist, KKK, Antifa, white supremacist, I.E., or white nationalists [sic]” are not welcome, tension in the city is rising as the weekend gets nearer.

As hundreds of people prepare to attend Patriot Prayer’s gathering on Saturday, Aug. 26, in Crissy Field (map of protest permit area here), San Francisco’s activists are making Facebook groups, crafting signs, and rallying to step up against racism. And the upcoming protests against the rally reflect the city’s diversity through the plethora of choices available — be they dog owners, botanists, parents, or drag queens.

If you can’t wait to whip out your Sharpies, put on your walking shoes, and make new friends this Saturday, here’s what you’ve got to chose from:

Canine companions can pay a visit to Crissy Field between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning for the Leave Your Dog Poop on Crissy Field protest. With any luck, members of the alt-right will get a nice shoe full of dogshit to go along with the rest of their bullshit — though participants of this event are encouraged to swing back around on Sunday to clean up any remaining turds.

Bright and early on Saturday morning many protesters will employ their vehicles as a form of resistance. In Park Out Crissy Field, activists plan to fill up nearby parking spots to make it more difficult for the alt-right to attend. The parking event technically starts at 6 a.m., though many attendees have discussed leaving their cars overnight. Make sure you check all signs so you don’t get a ticket or towed.

Once you’ve parked, join in a March Against Hate to Crissy Field, organized by the coalition San Francisco Against Hate. Protesters meet at the Marina Green between Scott and Fillmore streets for a 10 a.m. walk to Crissy Field. “Bring noisemakers,” organizers say, and drive home that “we do not plan on getting arrested.”

Resist SF gathers on Crissy Field at 11 a.m. Saturday morning. The closest direct protest to the event, its organizers state, “Racism is evil. It must be eradicated from the face of the earth. We will not let fascist, racist, morally bankrupt degenerates invade our beautiful city and spew hate. The time for passive tolerance is over.” That said, the group doesn’t advocate violence or physical conflict. Don’t directly engage the Nazis, because what they want is a violent encounter they can broadcast all over the internet to portray themselves as victims. Keep in mind that a long list of items will be prohibited from Crissy Field, including such banal objects as balloons and bicycles.

Elsewhere in the city, the Cutest Lil Counter Protest is sure to garner the most aww-worthy images. Employing the adorability of San Francisco’s families as a form of resistance, this peaceful protest meets at the Conservatory of Flowers at 11 a.m., before marching to the de Young Museum’s Summer of Love Wall. “First we march, then we picnic!” says organizer Sarah Ma, who has coined the hashtag #HateAintCute for the event.

Drop it like it’s hot at the Mobile Dance Party from 1-5 p.m. in glorious Dolores. Event organizers will “broadcast as many bangin, cheesy, party pop dance anthems as you can shake your amazing booty to.” Show up in your colorful, fabulous best, and don’t forget an FM radio to tune in to the beats.

In a nod to the Summer of Love, attendees of Flowers Against Fascism will hand out flowers to distribute to rally attendees. Flower crowns are “strongly encouraged,” as are musical instruments. Meet on Crissy Field with armfuls of flowers anytime between 1-6 p.m.

Dust off that red nose for Calling All Clowns: Fascism is No Laughing Matter on Crissy Field between 2-5 p.m. Anti-racist, anti-fascist clowns are encouraged to “mercilessly ridicule” the alt-right, and through distraction and disguise, “confront and mock fragile egos, garbage ideas, and the toxic, delicate form of masculinity endemic to the far right.” This silly tactic has proven successful: In 2012, around 100 clowns disrupted a KKK rally in North Carolina.

Comfortable in a crowd? The creator of the “RESIST!!” human banner on Ocean Beach is back, with a Heart Human Banner. From 2-4 p.m., people are encouraged to “bring your body where your beliefs are” and meet on Ocean Beach near the Cliff House for a peaceful, family-friendly event. Once gathered, people will form a large heart — which will then be photographed from a helicopter. 

Badass drag queens and activists Juanita MORE!, Honey Mahogany and Sister Roma will join a slew of other community leaders for Come Together — Juanita MORE!’s Rally & March For Equality. The peaceful gathering from noon to 2 p.m. at Harvey Milk Plaza doubles as a fundraiser, with proceeds benefitting Transgender Law Center, SF NAACP, SF LGBT Center, The National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Immigration Law Center and API Wellness. From this event, many will march to City Hall…

…where politicians and community leaders gather from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday to denounce hate through Peace, Love and Understanding. Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisors Jeff Sheehy and Mark Farrell, activist Cleve Jones, and organizers of the San Francisco Women’s March will attend. In addition, Bay Area native Michael Franti & Spearhead, San Francisco bluegrass band The Brothers Comatose, Mission District group Malo, comedian and playwright Marga Gomez, noted drag singer, actor and activist Bebe Sweetbriar, and Bay Area hip hop outfit Mama’s Boyz will perform.

If — somehow — none of the above fits into your Saturday plans, there is still a way to protest without showing up. An Adopt-a-Nazi (Not Really) fundraiser established on GoFundMe has raised more than $111,000 since it was created last week, with all proceeds going to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The tactic is based on a 2014 German protest, when neo-Nazis took over a town for their annual march. Residents and businesses sponsored 250 of the march’s participants. For every meter walked by the group, 10 euros was donated to a nonprofit that helps people escape from extremist groups.In this case, donations are based on the 300 participants permitted to attend the event. Two cents per attendee comes out to a $6 donation, one dime for each individual is $30, and so on.

Lastly, the thousands of people who will descend upon Crissy Field are bound to make a bit of a mess, regardless of what side they’re on. Starting at 5:30 p.m., Post-Rally Eliminate the Hate: Trash Removal/Community Gathering will meet on the beach with “brooms, trash bags, and open hearts to wipe away the hate and all its residue.”

Come together, stand strong, and don’t engage with visiting morally bankrupt Nazis and white supremacists this weekend, because fuck racism.

 

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