- The scheduled leg of the “ReAwaken America” tour in Rochester, New York, was canceled on Monday.
- The owner of Main Street Armory said he heard an outpouring of concern from local residents.
- “ReAwaken America” has been described as a promoter of Christian nationalism and white supremacy.
The owner of an upstate New York venue that was scheduled to host the controversial “ReAwaken America” tour in August has canceled the event after receiving widespread backlash from locals.
Main Street Armory owner Scott Donaldson wrote in an email Monday that he made his decision after “thorough consideration” and in response to an outpouring of “concern from our community, both good and bad,” several local media reported.
“I would like to say that the Main Street Armory is a place of equal opportunity and not politics,” read Donaldson’s statement, according to Spectrum News. “We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, etc.”
“I believe that everyone has the right to have their own opinions and beliefs,” he continued.
Main Street Armory and “ReAwaken America” tour organizers did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
The “ReAwaken America” tour was originally scheduled to make a stop in Rochester, New York on August 12-13 at Donaldson’s entertainment venue.
Since launching in April 2021, it has traveled to states including Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Colorado and Texas, according to its website. The August event in Rochester would have been the first for “ReAwaken America” in New York.
Organized by Clay Clark, a conservative podcast host, the events have been described as a hotbed for far-right extremist groups such as QAnon. High-level Christian leaders have said he promotes Christian nationalism that pushes “an anti-democratic, pro-violence, Q-Anon-inspired ideology,” Baptist News Global reported.
Guest speakers on the tour included MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, InfoWars host and conspiracy theory broadcaster Alex Jones, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Roger Stone – the former political adviser to former President Donald Trump, now accused of having close ties to extremist groups.
An event flyer shows Flynn and Stone were to speak at the Rochester stop.
An online petition created by New York residents has urged Main Street Armory to withdraw from hosting the tour, saying the event is “likely to attract white supremacists and other members of hate groups around the world.” northeast in our community”.
He also warned that the dates for the event, August 12 and 13, coincide with the anniversary of a white supremacist protest in Charlottesville that turned violent. The petition received over 2,000 signatures.
Two bands who were scheduled to perform at the Main Street Armory also threatened to pull their shows because of the “ReAwaken America” tour. The Grammy-nominated indie-pop group Japanese Breakfast announced on Friday that they would cancel their September 27 performance, while the Rochester-based indie rock band Joywave says it would be the same if the tour went ahead as planned.
Meanwhile, local Monroe County Democratic Caucus leaders released a statement in May saying they were “deeply troubled” by the Rochester tour halt and called on Donaldson to put the tour “on hold. “, reported the local CBS affiliate, WROC 8.
Donaldson said in his Monday statement that the cancellation of the event was part of “my turn to show my support” for the city of Rochester.
“I hope to see you all at future events here. (Apart from those who have threatened myself and the staff, you are not welcome),” he wrote, according to Spectrum.