Separate right-wing rallies in San Francisco, California, and across the bay in Berkeley have been canceled after multiple groups, civic leaders and elected officials denounced the events as forums for hate-speech and racism.
Saturday's San Francisco "Patriot Prayer" event was canceled after organizers learned that a quickly-assembled local grassroots movement to encourage dog owners to allow their pets to defecate in the rally's intended location had become popular enough to make the space uninhabitable for the day.
— Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) August 25, 2017
On Facebook an event inviting locals to "Leave your dog poop on Crissy Field" prior to Saturday's right-wing march saw over 1,000 people planning to attend, as well as some 5,800 people expressing an interest, cited by local media outlet KCRA-TV.
By claiming that they had "safety concerns," the right-wing group canceled their San Francisco event, and a similar unpermitted rally — planned for Berkeley's People's Park at the same time — quickly followed suit.
San Francisco, a notoriously liberal US city, had earlier reacted strongly to the announcement of a march by the right-wing group, with city officials, police and residents noting the recent deadly violence during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA.
Patriot Prayer events in the Pacific northwest regions of the US have consistently been attended by white nationalist groups and have seen several incidents of violence, according to The Guardian.
Earlier, local elected officials — including San Francisco congressional representative and US House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Mayor Ed Lee — had been unsuccessful at getting the US National Park Service to deny the right-wing group a permit for their march.
— Riya Bhattacharjee (@loislane28) August 26, 2017
But creative grassroots organizing by defiant locals proved to be more effective than political power plays, as the right-wing groups gave up their desire to march in the face of what one local media outlet described as an appropriate revenge on the "turd reich."
Claiming that "dog poop is a lot easier to clean up than hate," organizers of the dog-defecation campaign asserted that they would return to the canceled event's location on Sunday to clean up the mess.