Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, suggested Saturday that he may sue the city of Riverside and the operators of the Riverside Convention Center over the cancellation of a planned “America First” rally.
The rally, which was to feature speeches by Gaetz and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, was initially planned for the Pacific Hills Banquet & Event Center in Laguna Hills, but canceled there because “we just want to stay clear of that,” general manager Javad Mirtavoosi told the OC Register last week.
It was then shifted to the Riverside Convention Center, but officials with the Raincross Hospitality Corp., which manages and operates the city-owned center under contract with the city, told city officials Friday night the event would not take place.
“I recognize this was a divisive issue in our community, and I am glad it has been resolved,” Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson said. “I commend Raincross Hospitality Corp. for this decision.”
Mayor Pro Tem Gaby Plascencia also weighed in, saying: “Riverside is a diverse and inclusive community, so it is heartening to hear that this event will not move forward. I am disappointed we even got to this point, because these speakers are the antithesis of everything Riverside stands for.”
But Gaetz tweeted Saturday morning that “These quotes are going to make great exhibits in the lawsuit @RepMTG and I will be filing.”
The rally was moved to its third potential location — the Anaheim Event Center — before city officials there also announced that the event was canceled over public safety concerns.
“A planned America First rally at a private venue in our city is cancelled. The city of Anaheim shared public safety concerns with the operator, and those concerns are shared by the operator,” Anaheim officials said in a statement Saturday morning.
Gaetz and Greene are both strong supporters of former President Donald Trump and have been lightning rods for criticism from the political left.
“Radical communists have spent the last week trying to cancel our America First Rally w/@mattgaetz. Violent threats from BLM/Antifa were used again today to bully another venue. We won’t back down. Our rally is happening tomorrow night in California,” Greene tweeted Friday night.
The tweet was accompanied by a short video in which Green said, “The radical left and the woke mob is trying to cancel our rally but we’re not gonna let it happen, so here’s the message for you, communists Democrats: We are going stand up and we will have our America First rally tomorrow. You can’t cancel us, you can’t stop us. We’re going to save America.”
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