A third event venue in California has canceled a Saturday night rally by Republican House Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene.
According to social media announcements, the right-wing event was scheduled to go down Saturday night at the Pacific Hills Banquet & Event Center in Laguna Hills, but the establishment decided to pull the plug on the rally following widespread backlash and threats of protests.
So, the Congress members executed Plan B.
The Associated Press reports Gaetz and Greene then moved the gathering to the nearby Riverside Convention Center, sparking another wave of criticism among Orange County residents. Raincross Hospitality, the private company that operates the center for the city, announced they had backed out of the event Friday night—a decision that was cosigned by Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson.
“I recognize this was a divisive issue in our community, and I am glad it has been resolved,” Dawson said in a statement. “I commend Raincross Hospitality Corp. for this decision.”
JUST IN: The “America First” rally with Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz that was scheduled for 6 pm Saturday at the Riverside Convention Center will not take place pic.twitter.com/c6CYfx6pdC
— Ema Sasic (@ema_sasic) July 17, 2021
Mayor Pro Tem Gaby Plascencia echoed Dawson, stating: “Riverside is a diverse and inclusive community, so it is heartening to hear that this event will not move forward,” Mayor Pro Tem Gaby Plascencia said. “I am disappointed we even got to this point, because these speakers are the antithesis of everything Riverside stands for.”
But thankfully for Gaetz and Greene supporters, there was a Plan C.
Just hours before the event, organizers announced the rally would be hosted at the Anaheim Event Center, which was closer to the original location. And you can probably guess what happened next. Anaheim officials canceled the event out of concerns for “public safety” and optics.
“We respect free speech and we are capable of holding events,” said Mike Lyster, the spokesperson for the City of Anaheim. “But it was the lack of advance notice for an event that would attract the attention at the level this one would that has raised issues for our city … [Officials had] concerns about the nature of the event and that is does not reflect the city of Anaheim and the values we share.”
On Saturday night, Gaetz took to social media to announce the event had changed into a “peaceful protest against communism” and would be held outside City Hall in Riverside.
“These folks, they tried to cancel our venues, but they can never cancel our patriotism or our American spirit,” Gaetz said in a video message. “I can’t wait to see all my fellow patriots.”
The radical left can’t cancel our freedom of speech and protest against the Democrat’s communist ways!
See you there!
— Marjorie Taylor Greene ?? (@mtgreenee) July 17, 2021
The protest began at 5 p.m. PT. Business Insider reports Gaetz and Greene each spoke for five minutes, and left the event about 15 minutes after they arrived.
Donald Trump won the last election and he’s gonna win the next one!
Massive crowd for #AmericaFirst in Riverside.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) July 18, 2021
— Marjorie Taylor Greene ?? (@mtgreenee) July 18, 2021
They would been better off just saying come to our Klan rally.