Update 9/23/2016, 6PM: According to The Polk County Standard Journal, the Klan event has now been cancelled.
A person named on a permit application for an October 1st Ku Klux Klan gathering in Rockmart, Georgia now states that she never consented for her name to be used on the Klan paperwork, and that she neither “support[s] nor endorse[s]” the event.
In recent days Rockmart authorities have received several complaints about the upcoming all-day Klan event scheduled for Seaborn Jones Park. Anti-racists who revealed the Klan event have criticized Rockmart government for failing to warn the public about the event, and for permitting an explicitly “White Christian” event “for god race nation.” Anti-racists are concerned the KKK event will in effect re-segregate the public space by giving control to the Klan for the day. The Klan event is also likely to attract neo-Nazis travelling to a major white power festival in Draketown (25 minutes away) on the same day.
Heath Bearden displays his tattoo of a skull featuring a Klan blood drop cross. Bearden is named on the Klan paperwork for October 1st in Rockmart, but organizers may have involved another party in the event application without her consent.
On Monday night of this week, the full permit application for the October 1st Klan event in Rockmart was published on Twitter. Anti-racists were easily able to link four of the five “responsible parties” on the event application to neo-Nazi activity or the Klan. The fifth named individual has issued a statement through her business partner, asserting that when she was approached about the event, she “told him [Klan sympathizer Heath Bearden] emphatically, NO” she would not be involved with the International Keystone Knights of the KKK gathering. According to the new statement, her name was nevertheless added to event paperwork so the Klan event could have “five principal parties” and be permitted to go ahead.
The statement, issued by the business of the fifth person named on the Rockmart permit, may be read in full here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/are-amanda-rhondas-events/for-immediate-release-press-release/1589472178015056
We believe that these claims should be addressed. The City of Rockmart should clarify whether it cut corners on verification to help the Klan event go forward. Anti-racists have been speaking out about the Klan event since they learned of the gathering, on grounds unrelated to official paperwork. However, if the KKK application event is fraudulent, the event permit should now be rescinded. False information on the event application would be another reason for the City to cancel the event.
In the meantime, anti-racists are requesting all concerned parties to continue contacting the City of Rockmart.
For more information and commentary, contact afainatl [at] riseup [dot] net or leave a voicemail at 470-344-4868