UPDATE: 10:35pm ― Patriot Prayer, the organization behind the “Freedom Rally,” canceled the event on Friday afternoon. Tuffington subsequently announced his counter-protest was also canceled.
San Francisco has some dog defenders.
While he was walking his dogs, a 45-year-old artist had an inspired idea about how to counter-protest a scheduled “Freedom Rally” organized by a right-wing group that calls itself Patriot Prayer. Tuffy Tuffington has enlisted the help of his two Patterdale terriers and a lot of other good dogs in San Francisco to lay a field of poop on the site where Patriot Prayer has obtained a permit to gather Saturday, according to The Guardian.
“I just had this image of alt-right people stomping around in the poop,” Tuffington told The Guardian. “It seemed like a little bit of civil disobedience where we didn’t have to engage with them face to face.”
Tuffington created a Facebook event to invite dog owners to join him in his efforts, and people were more than happy to sign up. The plan is to bring out the pups ahead of time and plant some poop bombs across the rally site, Crissy Field in The Presidio.
Some pointed out that leaving dog poop is against park rules and can result in fines. But the counter-protesters plan to clean up their crap after the event.
“I got 4 dogs!!!” one person posted. “Would love for these racists to literally eat shit!”
A white supremacist rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month has highlighted the level of violence that can occur when counter-protesters engage face-to-face with hate groups. Patriot Prayer, based in Oregon, has a history of attracting the same extremist views to their rallies that were displayed in Charlottesville. Numerous public figures, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have denounced the group as a white supremacist organization.
“We’re talking about the first amendment here,” Patriot Prayer organizer Joey Gibson said in a Facebook Live video. “We’re talking about the constitution and all they’re trying to do is...it’s like a big circus.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center does not list Patriot Prayer as a hate group but has noted that some of its events have included white nationalist organizations.