Incited by Pelosi, Antifa Forces Moderate Republican to Run for His Life in Berkeley
A young conservative activist who denounces racism and white supremacy was chased down the streets of Berkeley today, fearing for his life, by the "anti-fascist" group Antifa, after being tagged in a press release from Nancy Pelosi as a "white supremacist." In dramatic footage Joey Gibson can be seen at first backing away, then running, from a swarm of black-clad, masked Antifa members brandishing clubs and weapons, one of whom strikes Gibson as he hops over a concrete barrier.
The Southern Poverty Law Center as well as the Anti-Defamation League have both supported Gibson, founder of Patriot Prayer, in his objection to being called a racist or white supremacist. Gibson has strongly condemned white supremacists, both in general and by name, and most of the speakers at his rallies are usually African-America, Latino, or Asian. One who was scheduled to speak at a rally in San Francisco last Saturday is transgender.
Gibson has also said he rejects anti-Muslim Islamophobia. He supports robust free speech, and constantly challenges the Antifa activists to debate him.
Nevertheless, the Anti-Defamation League, as well as various media, go on to paint Gibson and Patriot Prayer as "Alt-Right," "Alt-Lite," or "Far-Right," while denying they are racists, using nebulous terms with the common characteristic that the ralliers are generally Trump supporters.
After Gibson had cancelled the Patriot Prayer rally on Saturday, he posted on the group's Facebook that he would be on the streets of Berkeley on Sunday seeking to conduct a dialogue with "normal people." Gibson has described his mission as an effort to "unite moderates," rejecting "extremists" of both the left and the right, and to restore civility and "respect" in political dialogue.
When Patriot Prayer announced it's rally in San Francisco earlier this month, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Minority Leader and a former Speaker of the House, put out a press release which branded Gibson and Patriot Prayer as "white supremacists." Media coverage ensued repeating the description.
Antifa is the self-styled "anti-fascist" group organized by the umbrella organization Refuse Fascism. Antifa activists had already expressed a desire to kill Gibson, who denounces Marxist ideology as well as Nazism and fascism. On Sunday, Antifa hunted Gibson on the streets of Berkeley.
Joey Gibson attacked by Antifa in Berkeley
Gibson was reported to have been arrested in Berkeley, but the Patriot Prayer Facebook reports this is not true. Gibson was handcuffed briefly when he charged through police lines to escape an Antifa mob but was then released.
A review of Gibson's publicly posted videos and speeches confirms that he has never been known to make a racist or white supremacist statement, and in fact spends quite a bit of time, as a Japanese-American, denouncing these very ideologies. Nevertheless, the group Antifa, in its literature and public record, makes no distinction between "fascists," "white supremacists," "Nazis," "Alt-Right," "Far-Right," and Trump supporters.
A similar conservative-leaning rally in Boston last week opened with a moment of silence for Heather Heyer, the woman killed in Charlottesville last month by a white supremacist. Many participants in the Boston conservative rally were not white, including the keynote speaker, Republican candidate for US Senate Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai. As the candidate spoke, supporters held up his campaign signs, which read "Black Lives Matter" and "No to GMO."
Nevertheless, the Boston local media reported the gathering as one of white supremacists, spurring a massive counter-protest of 40,000 people, including Antifa activists who caused the rally to be shut down early. A massive police presence was deployed in Boston to protect the conservative ralliers from harm.
With even the LA Times declining to call Patriot Prayer "white supremacists" or adherents of any other racist ideology, the only label which stuck was that they were Trump supporters.
Only one of the scheduled speakers in Gibson's cancelled Saturday rally was white. Two rap bands made up of African-Americans were to be in the entertainment.