Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled 'alt-right' rally

Hundreds of counterprotesters gathered near a barricaded San Francisco park Saturday despite the cancellation of a free speech rally that city leaders feared could draw right-wing extremists.

The planned gathering by Patriot Prayer had been the centerpiece of a weekend of protests in the Bay Area that had raised concern among police and elected officials two weeks after right-wing activists, including neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, fought with anti-racism protesters in the streets of Charlottesville, Va.

Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson, who has denied that his group is extremist or white nationalist, wrote on Facebook Saturday he would hold an indoor news conference and show up at random spots in the city to talk to residents. (Reuters)

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Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Protesters march in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. Officials took steps to prevent violence ahead of a planned news conference by a right-wing group. (Photo: Josh Edelson/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

David Criswell holds up a sign as he marches with protesters in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Josh Edelson/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Protesters march in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Josh Edelson/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

San Francisco Police Officers arrest a protester outside of Alamo Square Park in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. San Francisco officials took further steps Saturday to prevent violence ahead of a planned news conference by a right-wing group. Officials erected fencing and a large contingent of police monitored Alamo Square park, where the group Patriot Prayer was set to hold its event. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

A protester holds up a sign outside of Alamo Square Park in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Protesters confront San Francisco Police officers outside of Alamo Square Park in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Protester Sarah Schmidt holds up a sign showing President Donald Trump near Alamo Square Park in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Josh Edelson/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Protesters march outside of Alamo Square Park in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Protesters march in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Josh Edelson/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Protesters gather near Alamo Square Park in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

A protester holds a sign near Alamo Square Park in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Josh Edelson/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Protesters march outside of Alamo Square Park in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Police officers march toward Alamo Square as demonstrators rally ahead of a news conference by the organizers of the cancelled alt-right Patriot Prayer rally on Aug. 26, 2017 in San Francisco, Calif. Originally planned to be held at Crissy Field, the rally and the subsequent news conference were cancelled by organizers citing safety concerns as various groups were expected to counter demonstrate against the controversial event while city officials continue preparing for any possible unrest. (Photo: Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Protesters who showed up to counter-protest Joey Gibson’s press conference, the organizer who cancelled the Crissy Field ” Patriot Prayer”, continue their demonstration despite Gibson cancelling again on August 26, 2017 at Alamo Square in San Francisco, Calif. (Photo: Amy OsborneAFP/Getty Images)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Joey Gibson of the group Patriot Prayer, center, speaks at a news conference in Pacifica, Calif, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Protesters march outside of Alamo Square Park in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Laura Zulema waves a flag in support of the group Patriot Prayer during a news conference in Pacifica, Calif, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Protesters turn out in San Francisco despite canceled ‘alt-right’ rally

Protesters gather near Alamo Square Park in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)