The California Highway Patrol has denied a permit to a protest titled “Let Freedom Ring” that was to have taken place Sunday outside the State Capitol building in Sacramento.
“Let freedom ring” is a famous refrain from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. King’s birthday, a federal holiday, is observed Monday.
Local NBC affiliate KCRA-3 reported:
A permit for a large election results protest at the California Capitol has been denied because of its proposed size and “the potential for civil unrest this weekend,” the California Highway Patrol says.
Chris Bish, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for the Sacramento congressional seat in November, had sought a permit for a “Let Freedom Ring” event Sunday with 3,000 people. The description said it was to “peacefully protest our compromised election” as well as register voters, collect signatures to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom and promote her 2022 campaign for Congress, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Chronicle added that the rally also would have exceeded the 200-person maximum due to coronavirus restrictions. It has been canceled as a result of being denied a permit:
Bish said Wednesday that she would not move forward with the event because, without a permit, attendees would not be granted access to the Capitol steps and lawn, which have been largely sealed off to the public with barricades since May.
Given the deadly insurrection in Washington, D.C., last week by rioters seeking to keep Trump in office, Bish said it would not be safe to gather on the streets outside the state Capitol, where the protest would not have law enforcement protection. Some recent demonstrations in downtown Sacramento have devolved into clashes between the far-right militia group Proud Boys and Antifa counterprotesters.
The State Capitol has been fenced with a six-foot-high chain-link barrier. Gov. Gavin Newsom has mobilized the California National Guard to prevent violence associated with protests during the week of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.