As protests escalate, Reps Gaetz and Greene bring America First rally back to Orange County – Press Enterprise

Less than 24 hours before Representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene held an America First rally in Southern California, protesters pushed controversial GOP members of Congress to move the event for the third time.

The America First rally is now scheduled to take place on Saturday night at the Anaheim Event Center on Harbor Boulevard.

“The radical left and the wide-awake crowd are trying to call off our rally but we won’t let it happen,” Greene said in a video she tweeted on Friday night.

Last week Gaetz and Greene announced their plans to conduct their America First Rally tour in Laguna Hills. But the venue was canceled on Tuesday when they learned that members of Congress would take the stage.

Next, the pair announced their intention to head 50 miles east, to the Riverside Convention Center. But protesters flooded Riverside leaders with complaints and protest plans allowing the event to take place at the city-owned site.

Late Friday night, Greene’s campaign spokesperson confirmed they were moving the event to Orange County.

“You can’t cancel us, you can’t stop us, we’re going to save America,” Greene said in a tweeted video.

Leaflets began circulating last week about an America First rally at the Pacific Hills Banquet & Event Center in Laguna Hills on Saturday, July 17. But the centre’s chief executive, Javad Mirtavoosi, said as soon as they found out who the event’s speakers would be. , they called it off, hoping to stay clear of the controversy surrounding Gaetz and Greene.

After searching for a new location in Orange County for a week, Greene’s team announced on Thursday that they were moving the rally to Riverside. They declined to disclose the location, citing security concerns. But Ted Weggeland, CEO of the company that runs the downtown Riverside Convention Center, told the Southern California News Group his venue expected to host the event.

Several organizations have announced plans to protest the rally, including Women’s March Action and The League of Women Voters Riverside. And some leaders in the city of Riverside have raised concerns, calling for an emergency meeting to discuss the matter.

“The hateful and racist rhetoric that will be perpetrated during this event by these two well-known extremists has absolutely no place in our city,” Riverside City Council member Ronaldo Fierro said in an emailed statement. Thursday evening.

Late Friday, city officials said they had been told by convention center operators that the rally would not take place in Riverside.

Shortly after 10 p.m., organizers announced that the event was now scheduled to be held in Anaheim.

Gaetz, who represents a Florida House district, and Greene, who represents one in Georgia, are known for their unwavering support for former President Donald Trump, their rejection of COVID-19 security measures, and their false belief that the 2020 presidential election has been stolen.

Greene is also known as a conspiracy theorist who wrote pro-QAnon articles and allegedly said 9/11 was a government conspiracy and a California wildfire was the work of a “space solar generator” controlled by a Jewish banking family, among others.

Video clips surfaced of his adherence to racist and Islamophobic views, and one recording showed Greene, who allegedly claimed that the government had orchestrated several mass shootings in support of gun control, following and mocking a survivor of the 2017 school shooting in Parkland, Florida. .

While Greene said her past social media posts did not reflect who she was, 11 House Republicans joined all House Democrats in February to vote to remove Greene from his committee assignments as punishment for his statements.

Gaetz, who has said leftist radicals posing as Trump supporters were responsible for the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill, is under investigation for alleged sex with a 17-year-old girl . He denied the allegations and said he was the victim of an extortion plot.

But Gaetz and Greene have also become embers of Trump-branded republicanism. The couple have been co-hosting America First rallies across the country since early May, when they kicked off the series in a Florida retirement community that has strongly supported Trump in 2020.

Tickets were to be free to reserve for general admission. But those who signed up received an email asking if they wanted to upgrade to VIP status for $ 250 per person, which was to include the ability to snap a photo with Gaetz and Greene as well as preferred seats.

Profits were to be donated to the joint Put America First fundraising committee, formed in Georgia in late April to support Gaetz and Greene’s re-election campaigns.

Editor-in-chief Jeff Horseman contributed to this report.

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