ANAHEIM (CNS) - An Anaheim venue canceled an ``America First'' rally scheduled for tonight that would have featured speeches by Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida, prompting the two Republican firebrands to schedule a ``peaceful protest'' at Riverside City Hall instead.
``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.
The event had already been canceled at two previous venues, in Laguna Hills and Riverside. It was scheduled to take place at the Anaheim Event Center at 2232 S. Harbor Blvd.
The rally 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.''
Gaetz suggested Saturday that he and Greene might file a lawsuit over the Riverside cancellation.
The two Republicans 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.''
A couple hours later, Gaetz suggested that rally organizers hadn't given up on holding the event Saturday.
``OMG the venue for today's #AmericaFirst rally w myself and @mtgreenee is going to be even better than we imagined,'' he tweeted. ``The cancellations show how afraid the Left is of our message. But they can't cancel our movement! Signup at http://AmericaFirstRallyTour.com. This is HAPPENING in SoCal!''
Greene followed that with the following tweet at 11:54 a.m.: ``The @City_of_Anaheim does not believe freedom represents their values, but America Last communists cancel culture does. Me and @mattgaetz are still having a rally to show all Americans how to stand up against tyrants and bullies using our great First Amendment!''
At 2 p.m., Gaetz returned to Twitter to post a video shot from outside Riverside City Hall at 3900 Main St.
``I'm inviting all of my fellow patriots to join me and Marjorie Taylor Greene here tonight, 5 p.m. We're having a peaceful protest against communism. These folks, they try to cancel our venues, but they can never cancel our patriotism or our American spirit,'' said Gaetz, dressed in jeans and dark sunglasses. ``Come tonight, 5 p.m., protected, First Amendment speech.
I can't wait to see all my fellow patriots at the Riverside City Hall -- they'll hear us all throughout Southern California.''
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