U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) were rejected from three southern California venues last week on their trail across America as they rally supporters on the “2021 America First Tour.”
The highly controversial pair and the events leading up to last week have sparked debate and tension between conservative and liberal parties, many of which are outlined below:
April 16– Greene’s office confirmed she was planning to launch an “America First Caucus.” Draft material circulated regarding the proposed group and their values, which called for a “common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”
Greene denied having read or approved the seven-page document which outlines the group’s policies on items like immigration, election fraud, infrastructure and national security. She did not deny her desire to launch a new caucus based on former president Trump’s “America First” values.
April 17– Greene’s office reported that she canceled the launch of the proposed caucus after receiving pushback from other conservative colleagues.
April 23– Greene headlined at an America First event in Vero Beach, FL, at the Indian River County Fairgrounds.
A press release was issued announcing Gaetz and Greene would partner up and start a 2021 America First Rally Tour, to commence on May 7. According to the release, the tour aims to “rally the 74 million Americans that voted for President Trump” in the 2020 election, as well as highlight the “destructive failings” of President Biden.
May 7– Gaetz and Greene started their tour in The Villages, FL.
May 21– Greene and Gaetz held a rally at the Delta Hotels by Marriott in Mesa, AZ where protestors waited outside, some dressed as “handmaids” from the Hulu series, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
July 9– Pacific Hills Banquet & Catering in Laguna Hills canceled the tour’s booking at their establishment, hoping to avoid controversy.
July 15– The representatives announced they would move their southern California event to the Riverside Convention Center at 6 p.m. on July 16.
July 16– Councilmember Ronaldo Fierro, Ward 3, issued a statement regarding the event condemning the rally tour and the decision to host one of its legs in Riverside. “The Convention Center is owned by the City of Riverside but is operated by Raincross Hospitality Corporation which contracts with the City. The hateful and racist rhetoric that will be perpetrated at this event by these two well-known extremists has absolutely no place in our City,” he said. Fierro and fellow Councilmember Clarissa Cervantes, Ward 2, have since been reported to have received threats from some constituents because of their public opposition to the movement.
The operators of the convention center later notified the city that the planned 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 in a press release. “I commend Raincross Hospitality Corp. for this decision.”
The event was moved to the Anaheim Event Center, scheduled for 7 p.m. on July 17.
July 17– Anaheim officials said in a statement Saturday morning that, “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.”
At 7:10 a.m. Gaetz hinted in a tweet that he and Greene will be filing a lawsuit against the city of Riverside as he responded to a Desert Sun reporter who posted screenshots of a press release announcing that the Riverside Convention Center canceled their scheduled rally.
At 2 p.m. on Twitter, Gaetz called for a peaceful protest at Riverside City Hall to start at 5 p.m.
In a speech recorded at the protest held outside City Hall, Gaetz addressed supportive protesters as well as counter-protesters, who positioned themselves across 9th Street beside the Martin Luther King Junior Memorial.
“Thank you so much for standing and fighting with us, this is an enthusiasm and an energy that we have to carry all across this great country. This is a happy and inclusive movement,” Gaetz said. “But you know who’s not happy, those pathetic losers over there that bring so much negativity and sadness and so we will be the great light of America … And they will live the sad existences that they are currently living.”
It is unclear at this time where the rally tour will take the lawmakers next. Representatives from the Raincross Hospitality Corporation, the office of Marjorie Taylor Greene and the office of Matt Gaetz were not able to be reached for comment Monday.