ANAHEIM (CBSLA) – After three separate attempts to hold an “America First” rally were called off by sites in the south, organizers held an impromptu rally outside Riverside Town Hall on Saturday.
Congressmen Matt Gaetz and Majorie Taylor Greene were forced to downsize at a small protest in Riverside and are now threatening to sue all cancellations.
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The Anaheim Event Center was the third venue to cancel organizers. Anaheim officials said they had expressed security concerns about the private site, and operators shared those concerns. The event was also canceled at two previous venues, in Laguna Hills and Riverside.
Gaetz and Greene spoke for a short time each during the impromptu event in Riverside.
“They can try to shut down our sites, but we will take that fight to them in the courts, in the halls of Congress and if necessary, on the streets,” Gaetz said.
Hinting at a lawsuit over the cancellations, Greene and Gaetz stirred the crowd and then left.
Supporters and protesters gathered across the street.
âWhat they’re saying about Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz is just horrible. It’s not true,â said Torey Neely, who attended the Riverside rally. âThey must be dangerous. They must be dangerous. “worry about them because we will not stop fighting for America. We are not going to lose our country. We are not going to socialism.”
Counter-protester Robert Hergenroder saw the two members of Congress differently.
âBoth people are propagandists. I don’t believe their rhetoric belongs to polite society. For this reason, I think it is important that people express that their rhetoric should not belong to society, âhe said.
Anaheim City spokesperson Mike Lyster said security concerns prompted the cancellation at a private location in Anaheim, but the owner made the decision, not the city.
Experts said it was a legal reason for even a public place to withdraw from an event.
However, Professor Brian Levin said it was less clear why the Riverside Convention Center pulled out of the event and said there was one factor that could give Gaetz and Greene a legal basis, namely that the convention center is managed by a private company, but owned by the city.
âAs long as he’s blind to the point of view, in other words if they would have treated the Girl Scouts the same, I think the city has a defense. However, if the rally organizers find there is a point of view-centric reason for denying their claim, I think they at least have the beginnings of a plausible case, âsaid Levin.
the @ Ville_d’Anaheim does not believe that freedom represents their values, but America Last Communists nullify culture.
– Marjorie Taylor Greene (@mtgreenee) July 17, 2021
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The rally was originally scheduled for the Pacific Hills Banquet & Event Center in Laguna Hills, but was canceled there because “we just want to stay away from this,” general manager Javad Mirtavoosi told The Orange County Register last week.
It was then moved to the Riverside Convention Center, but officials at Raincross Hospitality Corp., which manages and operates the city-owned center under contract with the city, told city officials on Friday night that the event did not would not take place.
âI recognize that this was a divisive issue in our community and I’m glad it was resolved,â said Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson. “I congratulate Raincross Hospitality Corp. on this decision.”
Gaetz suggested on Saturday that he and Greene could take legal action over the Riverside cancellation.
Gaetz announced on Twitter on Saturday that he would organize a “peaceful protest against Communism” outside Riverside Town Hall at 5 pm.
Peaceful demonstration against communism
Riverside City Hall, California
TODAY 5 p.m. PST
– Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) July 17, 2021
The two Republicans are both staunch supporters of former President Donald Trump and have been lightning rods for critics of the political left.
A vigil scheduled for late Congressman John Lewis was scheduled at the same sport on Saturday night, but never appeared to materialize amid fears it could lead to further protests.