Fate of Crissy Field ‘Patriot Prayer' rally uncertain

- The fate of the controversial 'Patriot Prayer' rally in San Francisco August 26 remains up in the air as the park permit is still under review.

And now new concerns have arisen since it's come to light that the rifle-toting, camouflage militia-men known as the 'Oath Keepers' have confirmed they will provide security for the event.

Mayor Ed Lee has made it clear that he believes the Golden Gate National Recreation Area should revoke the permit, which is still in its initial phase.

"It's not just [about free] speech and I think those that are [saying that], are missing the point," said Mayor Ed Lee, who admitted that he has huge security concerns over the planned event.

"People are coming in here to threaten violence and I think with arms, that may be visible or invisible, said Lee.

The event, touted by its organizer Joey Gibson as non-partisan and peaceful, has drawn the ire of both city and state politicians, especially in the wake of the deadly protest in Charlottesville.

They say similar rallies by Gibson in Seattle and Portland have attracted white supremacists and turned violent.

"Violence will not be tolerated but people do have a right to express themselves. That's the First Amendment, that's the constitution that I and every other law enforcement officer has sworn to protect that oath," said SFPD Chief Bill Scott.

Another public concern is the 'Oath Keepers' a group of ex-military and ex- law enforcement types who will be at the August 26 rally.

Chief Bill Scott says state law does permit concealed weapons.

"On federal property those same laws are applicable. However, there are conditions that can be placed in a permit to prohibit weapons within the permitted space," said Chief Scott.

"I don't want to have a conversation just about guns," said Lee. "There's all kinds of weaponry that is showing up at these types of events and rallies. There are sticks, there are makeshift utensils."

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area has said it will make a final decision regarding the permit by next Friday.

Some have concerns that if a decision isn't made until the eleventh hour and rally participants are in town, they will take their message instead to the streets of San Francisco.

"We're going to be ready either way," said Scott, who told KTVU that all officers in the department are aware of the potential rally and are on standby until further notice.

"If it's an unsafe event, definitely we can shut it down," he said.

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