A conservative event planned for Rochester, N.Y., was canceled for ideological reasons after the venue’s owner came under pressure from liberal censors.
Scott Donaldson of the Main Street Armory said that an “outpouring of concern” from the community led to him say “thanks but no thanks” to the ReAwaken America Tour. Ironically, Donaldson said his business is “equal opportunity and nonpolitical.”
He added that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but he chose to cancel because of “concern from our community, both good and bad.”
The conservative conference is a traveling event featuring several speakers, including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Roger Stone. Featured guests also include former President Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump and Infowars founder Alex Jones.
The opponents pulled out the tried-and-true talking points against the GOP in general and Trump Republicans in particular.
An online petition gathered over 2,000 signatures on the threat that the tour could bring “White supremacists and other members of hate groups” from the region into Rochester.
The petition also attempted to create a link between the August 12-13 scheduled dates and the anniversary of a clash between demonstrators in Charlottesville that became violent.
The local Monroe County Democratic Caucus claimed to be “deeply disturbed” by the ReAwaken America Tour and urged the venue to put it “to sleep.”
For over a year, the conservative tour has held events in several cities coast to coast, including earlier this month in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The event scheduled for Rochester would have been its first in New York.
One alternative rock band canceled its scheduled performance at the Main Street Armory in protest of the conservative tour stop. Grammy-nominated Japanese Breakfast said it heard from several people who said they were boycotting the venue over the pro-Donald Trump event.
Organizers said they try to have multiple backup sites in line in the event of a cancellation, and they only found out they’d been disinvited through the media. Private venues are exactly that, but at what point did it become critical to prevent merely talking about political views some disagree with?