Patriot Prayer group wants to ‘flip’ May Day protests
This year, the usual May Day protesters won’t be alone.
Multiple conservative free speech groups, fronted by Vancouver-based Joey Gibson, are planning a counter-protest to mitigate the damage they expect to see caused by anarchist and far-left groups during May Day events.
“I started watching May Day film in Seattle and it absolutely disgusted me,” Gibson told KTTH’s Jason Rantz. “These children are running around, throwing rocks, they’re assaulting police, they’re yelling and cussing at them as if they’re less than human.”
Gibson is the founder of the Patriot Prayer group, a Conservative activist collective that mostly focuses on free speech issues. For this particular counter-protest, he’s working in conjunction with Proud Boys. Their rally begins at 3 p.m. in Westlake Park.
“We basically want to flip May Day on Seattle,” Gibson explained. “Instead of it becoming a day where you riot, where you yell, you scream, you bring in hate; we want to bring in a different message of freedom and God.”
The rhetoric on the Facebook page for the event is a little more incendiary than Gibson’s. A user writing under the screen name Creak Aldo commented: “It’s so about time that local patriots in Seattle get in the face of the subhuman mongrels.”
Gibson said he’s completely opposed to violence.
“If people go up there specifically to try and fight with them,” Gibson said, “what you’re doing, you’re playing into what they want.”
When he’s not organizing rallies, Gibson is running a Senate campaign to unseat Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell. He acknowledges his odds of victory are minuscule, but he says there’s more than one reason he’s running.
“I’m here, not just to win a campaign, but I’m here to help people understand that you’ve got to get involved,” Gibson said. “We look up at these politicians like they’re all high-and-mighty. We’ve got to take them off their pedestal, bring them back down and help people understand that they work for us.”