Riverside venue cancels Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz event; Republicans move rally to Anaheim

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The city of Riverside, California, announced the cancellation of a rally featuring Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida less than 24 hours before it was set to start Saturday.

Both controversial Republican members of Congress now plan to hold their “America First” rally around 40 miles west of Riverside at the Anaheim Event Center, according to its website. It is set for 7 p.m.

Vocal supporters of former President Donald Trump and his so-called “America First” agenda, both politicians were originally scheduled to hold their rally Saturday at a venue in nearby Laguna Hills, Calif.

The Pacific Hills Banquet & Event Center in Laguna Hills canceled those plans Friday, however, prompting the rally to be moved to the Riverside Convention Center before that venue quickly followed suit.

In a statement late Friday, the city of Riverside, which owns the convention center, said that Raincross Hospitality Corp., the company that manages and operates the venue, had confirmed the cancelation.

“I recognize this was a divisive issue in our community, and I am glad it has been resolved,” Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson, a Democrat elected in 2020, said in the statement released by the city.

Riverside is a diverse and inclusive community, so it is heartening to hear that this event will not move forward,” added Mayor Pro Tem Gaby Plascencia. “I am disappointed we even got to this point, because these speakers are the antithesis of everything Riverside stands for.”

The head of Raincross did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment.

Ms. Greene and Mr. Gaetz have each repeatedly found themselves at the center of controversy since joining Congress, and local media reported that demonstrators had planned to protest the Riverside event.

“The radical left and the woke mob is trying to cancel our rally, but we’re not going to let it happen,” Ms. Greene said in a video statement she shared on social media late Friday evening.

“You can’t cancel us, you can’t stop us. We’re going to save America,” Ms. Greene added.

Mr. Gaetz suggested from his own social media account on Saturday morning that both congress members were considering suing over the most recent cancellation in Riverside, meanwhile.

Referring to the statement Riverside issued the night before, Mr. Gaetz said on Twitter: “These quotes are going to make great exhibits in the lawsuit [Ms. Greene] and I will be filing.”

Ms. Greene, a first-year House member representing Georgia’s 14th congressional district, was stripped of her committee assignments in February after revelations emerged about her past social media posts.

More recently, Ms. Greene was forced to publicly apologize last month amid facing a possible censure for having repeatedly comparing efforts to curb the novel coronavirus pandemic with the Holocaust.

Mr. Gaetz, who has represented Florida’s first congressional district since 2017, is reportedly under federal investigation for possible sex trafficking, according to several outlets. He denies wrongdoing.

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