Strike 3: ‘America First’ Rally Axed in Anaheim After 2 Cancellations Elsewhere

The Wrap


An “America First” Rally featuring speeches by controversial GOP representatives Marjorie Taylor Green and Matt Gaetz was scheduled for Saturday night at Anaheim Event Center following cancellations at two other Southern California venues, but Anaheim also backed out on Saturday morning.

The City of Anaheim — home to Disneyland — was not the happiest place on Earth over the news, reported Saturday morning by City News Service, with the city issuing a statement Saturday saying it planned to act fast on the plans. And it did, cancelling the event with a follow-up statement, citing public safety concerns.

“The city of Anaheim shared public safety concerns with the operator, and those concerns are shared by the operator,” the statement said in part. “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.”

The City of Anaheim had earlier posted this statement on Twitter, also from city spokesman Mike Lyster:

“We learned of the planned relocation of this event to a private venue in our city late Friday. It is not a decision by or supported by the city of Anaheim.

“As a city we respect free speech but also have a duty to call out speech that does reflect our city and its values.

“We are looking into this matter this morning.”

In an additional tweet, the City of Anaheim clarified that the chosen location is not the city-owned Anaheim Convention Center but a private venue.

The rally was originally scheduled to take place at the Pacific Hills Banquet and Event Center in Laguna Hills, but lost the venue because “we just wanted to stay clear of that,” general manager Javad Mirtavoosi told the Orange County Register.

The event was then planned to move to Riverside Convention Center, but the manager of the city owned venue, Raincross Hospitality Corp., said on Friday that he event would not take place. “I recognize this was a divise issue in our community, and I am glad it has been resolved,” said Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson, quoted in a report from CBS Los Angeles.

Anaheim’s Lyster was not the only one taking to Twitter to express dismay over the move earlier on Saturday. Some comments:

Cancel event
Citizens do not want Hate speech's in Anaheim and surrounding cities!

— DD (@Silvergt) July 17, 2021

Matt Gaetz and MTG encouraged Insurrectionist at the Capitol January 6. They don't believe in mask, they don't believe in vaccines, they don't believe that having sex with minors is a bad thing. They are a public health risk.

— HoosierProgressiveLiberal (@justicejunkie42) July 17, 2021

Maybe it’s time to get the mouse involved

— They call me Tatiana (@BeautifulColisn) July 17, 2021

Another responder offered another approach:

Why do they need to be worried? Just ignore them.

— Tofu (@beef7272) July 17, 2021

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