Ironic Adopt-a Nazi fundraiser surpasses $150K goal


(JTA) — The Adopt-a-Nazi (Not Really) fundraiser, a response to a far-right “free speech” rally that had been scheduled for San Francisco, reached its $150,000 goal and has upped it.

The campaign by San Francisco attorney Cody Harris and the Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco asks visitors to donate a small amount of money to the Southern Poverty Law Center by “sponsoring” each person who had been expected to attend the rally. Some 300 rally-goers had been expected.

As of Sunday morning, the GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $155,000 and raised its goal to $165,000 by Monday.

The rally scheduled for Saturday night was canceled late Friday by its organizer, a right-wing group known as Patriot Prayer led by Joey Gibson of Portland, Oregon.

“It doesn’t seem safe. A lot of people’s lives are going to be in danger,” Gibson said in a post on Facebook. He also said that “tons of extremists” had planned to show up at the rally and that the event had the potential to become “a riot.”

Gibson had announced a news conference Saturday in downtown San Francisco, but it was cancelled also as the group did not have a permit for the venue, a park, and police closed it.

The campaign, which was launched on Aug. 17 with an initial goal of $10,000, passed that target in 24 hours. The goal was changed to $100,000 and then to $125,000.

The link has been shared 17,000 times on Facebook.

Harris came up with the idea in the aftermath of Charlottesville after hearing about a town in Germany that countered a neo-Nazi parade in 2014 with a fundraiser to benefit anti-extremist groups. He asked the Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco, where he is a board member, to take on the effort.

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