Donald Trump

Refuse Fascism Hosts Anti-Trump Rally at San Francisco's Union Square Despite Permit Denial

Refuse Fascism believes President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence pose a "catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet"

Hundreds of people who believe that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence must be ousted from the White House plan to descend on San Francisco's Union Square on Saturday.

Hosted by nonprofit Refuse Fascism, the rally and march have been dubbed "This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!"

The group and its supporters claim that Trump and Pence pose a "catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power," according to a Facebook event page. 

Thousands of people plan to protest across the United States and those in the Bay Area will not be left behind, organizers promised.

Refuse Fascism contacted the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department for a permit for Saturday's event. The group was turned down.

City officials said the Nov. 4 rally organizers called them in early October.

"We immediately informed them Union Square was not available on this date as it is already permitted for two other large and longstanding installations and there is not adequate additional space for this event at that location," officials said in a statement.

Further, permits are not issued based on the type of event that is proposed, they stressed.

"Instead we issue permits based on first-come-first serve site availability and site appropriateness for the stated activity," parks officials wrote. "To ensure the safety of all involved we coordinate with public safety departments on these determinations."

The explanation did not satisfy Refuse Fascism, whose attorneys filed a First Amendment challenge in U.S. federal court.

In a statement issued Saturday, organizers wrote: "We took our case to Court, to the Mayor's office, and the Board of Supervisors and were turned down. The reason they gave: part of the space is taken up by an ice skating rink! This is ridiculous: in a moment when the people of the world are in grave peril, commerce does not trump the urgency and importance of this protest. And besides there is LOTS of space in the area."

Refuse Fascism called San Francisco officials' behavior "outrageous and unacceptable," but stressed that they would not lose sight of their goal. 

"The word has already gone out and we will gather at Union Square, have our rally and march. We insist and demand that the safety and integrity of this is ensured. And will stand united together, having each other's backs, as we stand with the people of the world," they continued.

As of 1 p.m., around 380 people have said they will attend the protest, while another 1,600 are interested. A storm is dumping rain on the Bay Area, and it remains to be seen whether the inclement weather will prevent protesters from taking to San Francisco's streets.

Check back for updates.

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