Woman Arrested at Nazi, KKK Counter-protest for Profanity on Protest Sign
(APN) ATLANTA — As Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan rallied at the Georgia State Capitol, and as Anonymous and anti-fascist counter-protesters clashed with them from across the street, one young female counter-protester was arrested for having the word “F*CK” on her protest sign.
The National Socialist Movement (NSM), a White supremacist party, was in Atlanta to hold their annual conference and rally this previous weekend. The conference was to take place at the Wellesley Inn Hotel booked under the Richard Wight Group. The rally was to be held at the State Capitol on Adolf Hilter’s birthday, April 20.
On Friday night, Anonymous took credit for smashing Wight’s car in post on Atlanta Indymedia: “We smashed every window and a tire on their member Richard Wight’s car. We did this to disrupt their conference, avert their attention off of the conference, to hit them monetarily, and show them that their will always be consequences for fascist organizing,” Anonymous said.
On Saturday, Hitler’s birthday, members of the NSM and the KKK were escorted from a nearby parking deck by police to the protest area in front of the Georgia State Capitol.
Their website (www.nsm88.org) lists NSM’s core beliefs to include defending the rights of White people everywhere, preservation of our European culture and heritage, strengthening family values, economic self-sufficiency, reform of illegal immigration policies, immediate withdrawal of our national military from an illegal Middle Eastern occupation, and promotion of White separation.
About 35 Nazis dressed in all black with swastikas on their arms, and about six Klansmen dressed in white robes and pointed white hats, gave their usual messages of White supremacy and “it’s all the immigrants’ fault that you don’t have a job.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of Washington Street, over one hundred anti-fascist protesters beat drums, held up signs, and screamed at the Nazis and Klanspeople to leave Atlanta. The Nazis gave numerous sieg heil salutes and some counter protesters gave back the middle finger salute.
Police with very large assault rifles and guns were in the street between the two groups.
Some of the younger antifascist protesters were shocked that there were actually organized Nazi groups in the United States. It was the first time some actually witnessed someone who proudly claimed to be a Nazi or a Klansperson.
One activist, Misty Novitch, strutted down the street in a mock Nazi walk with a clown nose and a sign that read, “Racism is Ridiculous.”
A few older counter-protesters commented that the really dangerous people were neither the Nazis nor the Klansmen outside the Capitol, but rather the “male, pale, and stale” elected officials inside the State Capitol.
In the midst of all the loud drumming and noise, a woman was suddenly grabbed off the sidewalk by a police officer and arrested.
Tracie Stern with Revolution Books Atlanta was standing next to the woman who was arrested apparently for holding a sign with the word F*ck, except without the asterisk. Others said the sign either said “F*ck Off Nazi Scum” or “F*ck Nazi Scum.”
“Out of nowhere a cop brutally and aggressively grabbed the young woman’s shirt and skin and another cop grabbed her hair. They literally yanked her over our banner into the street and sprawled her out on a police car. Other huge male cops come up and surrounded this small young woman. She was doing nothing but holding a sign. I keep saying, ‘Don’t hurt her, let her go.’ The amount of brute force was actually shocking,” Stern told Atlanta Progressive News.
“The cops handcuffed and dragged her down the street for having profanity on a protest sign. While across the street racist, White supremacists are spewing hate and violence against people of color. It was outrageous,” Stern said.
APN contacted the woman’s friends, who said she was seeking legal advice before speaking with the press.
A local Cop Watch chapter, who was present at the rally, said they did not have any information on the case.
Other sources said the bail was set at five hundred dollars and she was released that night.
A photograph of the arrest appears on the Creative Loafing Atlanta Fresh Loaf website, although the accompanying blog post does not seem to indicate why the arrest took place.
It appears this woman’s civil liberties and freedom of speech were violated by her arrest.
The First Amendment of the Constitution of the US allows for freedom of speech.
In 1971, the Supreme Court of the US ruled in the case of Cohen v. California, that a lower court erred in convicting a man for the purported crime of disturbing the peace for wearing a jacket that displayed the phrase, “F*ck the Draft.”
The Supreme Court ruled that profanity is protected speech in the context of a political protest.