SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - While thousands of demonstrators, calling themselves "anti-hate" protesters, took to the streets of San Francisco at noon Saturday, the Patriot Prayer organizer secretly announced a press conference in Pacifica.
Plans for the Patriot Prayer rally at Crissy Field were scrapped Friday afternoon, the group then announced plans to meet at Alamo Square. But Saturday morning, the barricades went up and police were in full force, dotting the grassy square and lined up on surrounding streets by 11 a.m.
The Patriot Prayer group was no where to be seen.
"They should hide because you know there's always gonna be a lot of love and if you just push hate back," Dennis Williams.
"We outnumbered them i think they realized it wasn't gonna be as easy as they thought," said Sara, of Berkeley.
When protesters marched from Alamo Square to the Mission District Saturday afternoon, the Patriot Prayer rally organizer Joey Gibson secretly announced on social media that his group would speak to the media at a park in Pacifica.
"I have to go from spot to spot unannounced otherwise we'll have a 1000 ninjas show up trying to kill me," said Gibson who made later appearances at Crissy Field and Civic Center Plaza.
Gibson and others slated to speak at the canceled rally, said they have been misunderstood by the media and by the public.
"It's wrong to be- to call us white supremacists - when that's lie," stated Gibson.
"The main reason why they keep coming at us about white supremacy is because for the last two years there's a attack on white people in America," said free-speech supporter Will Johnson.
Gibson's events have drawn white supremacists out in the past, which was why Mayor Ed Lee said he decided to ramp up security efforts and told the group it was not welcome.
But Gibson says politicians are just grandstanding.
"My message is really simple. It's about bringing this country together," said Gibson. "It's simple ok? It's about love, peace, and freedom.... there's no President , there's no leader that can fix our problem at a grass roots level, no one. It has to be amongst us."
"I don't care that someone says I'm overdoing it, no loss of life means we've done the right thing and we keep everybody safe," said Mayor Ed Lee around five o'clock Saturday evening, meeting with a group of reporters.
KTVU asked Gibson what his overall goal was in San Francisco.
"I want to give a home to moderate democrats, I want to say hey you're welcome to be with us to say what you want to say to say what you believe," said Gibson. "And we're not going to make fun of you, we're not going to make you feel bad. If you believe in love, in freedom, man, we're together...we can work together."