Rep. Gaetz Protesting Canceled California Rallies: 'We Will Not Be Silenced'




matt gaetz raises a fist.
Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks at a protest outside Riverside, Calif. city hall on July 17, 2021. (Cindy Yamanaka/The Orange County Register via AP).

After three California venues had canceled a joint rally planned by Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., the conservative lawmakers staged a protest.

Gaetz and Greene turned their America First rally attempt into a protest at City Hall in Riverside, California, and they also spoke to a throng of supporters in Huntington Beach.

"You've proven they can't cancel these Congress members, and they can't cancel this rally, and they can never cancel the America First political movement," Gaetz told the crowd. "We will not be silenced, and we will not be shut down by whatever oversoyed members of the City Council of this particular place or Anaheim of any other place. There are great Americans will live in the state of California and we're going to fight for every single one of you."

The Anaheim Event Center canceled Saturday's event, citing officials and the venue's "public safety concerns," according to Anaheim city spokesperson Mike Lyster's statement posted to Twitter.

Considering Gaetz and Greene are sitting members of Congress and held a peaceful protest outside City Hill in Riverside, the "public safety concerns" had to be from extremists opposing the speech of the conservative lawmakers.

But the city even objected to a move of the event to a private venue, citing – directly – the content of the speech from the conservatives.

"As a city we respect free speech but also have a duty to call out speech that does not reflect our city and its values," Lyster added in another statement.

Greene was appalled by the brazen silencing of political opposition. 

"The City of Anaheim put out a statement today that America First is a threat to who they are," Greene told supporters in video coverage of the protest, which showed a sizable crowd for support for the conservative lawmakers in deep blue California.

"What kind of American city considers policies that put America First a threat?"

Greene called out last summer's "BLM protests" and how CNN viewers did not "try to cancel them."

"No, they celebrated it," she added. "That's right. The communist news network and the fake news media called them peaceful protests."

Gaetz and Greene launched an America First tour of the U.S. last month, but "significant public outcry" led to the California venues to cancel their plans Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"These folks they tried to cancel our venues but they can never cancel our patriotism or our American spirit," Gaetz said in a video shared on Twitter, calling supporters to join the protest at City Hall. "They'll hear us all throughout Southern California."

There were reports the city was reacting to animated protests against Gaetz and Greene due to the allegations leveled against them.

Gaetz has publicly denounced leaks of an alleged investigation into sex with a 17-year-old as  false, while Greene has been a vocal critic of election fraud and politicized justice in America.

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