2021-07-18 14:06:06 UTC
(They will disarm you at the door)
After third venue cancels, Gaetz, Greene take protest against communism
By Hannah FryStaff Writer
July 17, 2021 Updated 7:11 PM PT
After three Southern California venues canceled Republican Reps. Matt
Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greenes America First rally amid significant
public outcry, the lawmakers hosted a protest in Riverside on Saturday
In a video posted to Twitter on Saturday afternoon, Gaetz called on all
California patriots to join him and Greene outside Riverside City Hall
for a peaceful protest against communism. A group of loyalists joined
These folks they tried to cancel our venues but they can never cancel our
patriotism or our American spirit, Gaetz said in a video filmed outside
Riverside City Hall. Theyll hear us all throughout Southern California.
The city of Riverside said officials are aware of the announced event and
taking steps to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
The abrupt change occurred hours after the Anaheim Event Center backed out
of allowing the lawmakers to use the venue, a decision made after city
officials shared concerns about other events limiting police resources for
It was the lack of advance notice for an event that would attract the
attention this one would that raised issues for our city, said Mike
Lyster, Anaheim city spokesman.
The last-minute cancellation was the latest in a series of hiccups for the
controversial GOP lawmakers in their attempts to get a fundraising event
off the ground in Southern California. Gaetz and Greene have been
cohosting America First rallies across the country since early May.
Tickets to Saturdays event were free for general admission. However,
those who registered were given the option to upgrade to VIP status for
$250 per person, funds that were expected to go to the Put America First
Joint Fundraising Committee to support Greenes and Gaetzs reelection
Greene, a Georgia congresswoman, and Gaetz, who represents west Florida,
were among former President Trumps staunchest allies. The lawmakers
remarks over COVID-19 safety measures and the false theory that the 2020
election was stolen have raised eyebrows among Democrats and Republicans
Gaetz is also under investigation for allegations of sex trafficking and
having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. He has denied any
Information began circulating last week about an America First rally at
Pacific Hills Banquet & Event Center in Laguna Hills planned for Saturday.
The venues general manager told the Orange County Register it opted to
cancel it after learning Gaetz and Greene would be speaking.
By Thursday, the rally had been moved to the Riverside Convention Center.
Many Riverside residents condemned the event and several organizations
planned to protest, prompting concern from city officials. By late Friday,
that venue was out as well.
Riverside is a diverse and inclusive community, so it is heartening to
hear that this event will not move forward, Riverside Mayor Pro Tem Gaby
Plascencia said in a statement. I am disappointed we even got to this
point, because these speakers are the antithesis of everything Riverside
Hours later, organizers announced the event would be back in Orange County
at the Anaheim Event Center. Dozens of residents contacted the city to
decry the event. A few sent messages of support, Lyster said.
As a city we respect free speech but also have a duty to call out speech
that does not reflect our city and its values, he said.
Greene blamed the inability to maintain a venue on Democrats, which she
called the party of hate, in a post on Twitter early Saturday.
They organized to attack, threaten, & harass every venue we booked in CA
to hold an America First rally, which celebrates our great country &
freedoms, she wrote. They think their vicious hate will stop me, but I
never give up.