Activists Counter White Supremacist NSM Rally in Newnan, Georgia
(APN) NEWNAN, Georgia — On Saturday, April 21, a day after Adolf Hitler’s birthday, the National Socialist Movement (NSM), a White Supremacist organization, held a rally in Newnan, Georgia that was attended by some 25 self-professed Nazis.
Newnan is about one hour south of Atlanta.
Some activists believe that the Confederate monuments and streets named after Confederate generals attracted them to Newman. The NSM apparently considered the area fertile ground for recruitment.
Newnan is only one stop for the NSM on a nationwide tour of recruitment to bring their core beliefs of defending the rights of White people and preservation of European culture and heritage.
Membership in NSM is open only to non-Semitic heterosexuals of European descent.
The police–in fear of a repeat of the violent August 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia–went to extreme measures to protect all participants.
Newnan became an occupied City, in partnership with 42 public safety agencies, over seven hundred law enforcement officers, and 25 fire and emergency service agencies.
The cost to the citizens of Newnan for this overwhelming show of police power is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a WGCL-TV report.
SWAT units were in full military attire, carrying assault weapons. This seemed totally unnecessary in that the small numbers of NSM members who were rallying remained totally isolated from the counter-demonstrators, except for only one hour that day.
Streets were barricaded and closed for several blocks around the small park.
“We have both civilians and military with assault weapons out here. We are in a peaceful protest and these guys come prepared for war. It’s a domestic occupation force,” an anti-Nazi activist, who did not want to use their name, observed in an interview with Atlanta Progressive News.
Protesters began arriving around 1:30 p.m., but the NSM members were in a secure location until 4 p.m.
Around 2 p.m., at the intersection of Clark and Jackson Streets, one group dressed in black with their faces covered with black bandanas were arrested under Georgia’s “No Mask Law,” O.C.G.A. 16-11-38.
During the arrests, SWAT police pointed their assault weapons at those being arrested and at peaceful protesters who witnessed the arrests.
Ironically, the No Mask Law was passed in 1951 to unmask Klansmen and other hate organizations who operated as vigilantes and were responsible for intimidation, violence, and lynching of racial and religious minorities.
Now, this law, which was passed to unmask the Klan, is now used against those who want to remain anonymous while protesting the Klan and Nazis.
“I feel it is important to show up and have a presence and not sit silently by while Nazis and White supremacists get embolden by the government and do whatever they want without opposition. You are either with the Klan or you are against them and I think Trump is a member of the Klan,” a young woman from Decatur, Georgia, told APN.
Some residents of Newnan and business owners there were scared, and officials told them to stay home. However, other residents joined the protest against the NSM, and were upset at the city for giving the NSM a permit.
“This is not right. I feel it could have been avoided in so many ways. By giving them a permit, now other Klan and Nazi groups will feel like they can come here and protest,” a young woman from Newnan told APN.
“I’m here to protest the neo-Nazis coming here to our home and the city officials who allowed them to come here. We had a Stop the Violence rally and they would not allow us to come uptown, but they allowed them (NSM) to pay fifty dollars when they have a long history of starting violence,” Martez Hayes-Zentarious, a Newnan resident, told APN.
The huge group of anti-Nazi demonstrators walked through the streets chanting: “Nazis Are Not Welcome Here, Say It Loud, Say It Clear!” and “Cops and Klan Go Hand In Hand!”
They eventually broke up into smaller groups.
One small group of about 75 tried to enter the park on the back side by crossing over railroad tracks, but police and SWAT quickly blocked their entrance.
A larger group of over 200 people lined up to enter the barricaded free speech pen to watch and boo NSM members when they spoke in the park.
“I’m here to photograph… and to show that people here don’t like it. It’s disgusting, I don’t want to live in a world where this kind of stuff is going on,” Tim Mathis from Douglasville told APN.
Another anti-Nazi protester who wished to remain anonymous told APN, “I’m here because I really hate Nazis and their ideology. They are the advocates of genocide and ethnic cleansing.”
Finally around 4 p.m., an hour late for their own event, the sequestered NSM members marched down LaGrange Street which had been secured by police and into the Park.
“Hello, Newnan. We are the National Socialist Movement (NSM), the League of the South, and the National Front. We are the vanguard of the White race. We have had hundreds of people from the local community contacting us,” NSM Commander Jeff Schoep said to boos and chants of “Shame, Shame!” from demonstrators in the fenced off pen about one hundred yards away.
Schoep called counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville a mob of degenerates, Communists and Anarchists, alleging that they threw urine at them and caused the violence. He said they have faced these same type of “degenerates” many times before all across the nation.
Schoep raged against the media as “fake news” that lies about them, echoing an accusation that is made daily by President Donald Trump.
“We stand here in love for our people and love for our country, but our adversaries, the anarchist, communist, and degenerates want to silence us.”
Schoep states that they are not a violent hate group, but the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that tracks and monitors hate groups, identifies them as one of the largest Neo-Nazi groups in the United States.
The police escorted them out of the park when their permit expired at 5 p.m.
It is obvious neither Black people nor White people in Georgia are afraid any longer, or intimidated by the Klan or Neo-Nazis; and will turn out in droves to oppose policies of racism, hate, and violence, even as NSM tries to hide behind the banner of “White Rights.”
Ten counter demonstrators were arrested on various charges: three on misdemeanor charges of wearing masks, one charge of pedestrian on highway, three charges of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, one misdemeanor obstruction of officers, and two charges for felony obstruction of officers.
Later that night the NSM moved about 60 miles North of Newnan to the Draketown community in Haralson County for a swastika burning rally.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2018)