Klansmen, neo-Nazis and white supremacists have announced their plan for a “resistance” rally at Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta on February 2, 2019. The rally – “Rock Stone Mountain II” – is a sequel to the white power “Rock Stone Mountain” rally organized in April 2016 at the Park. In 2016, the organizers’ goal to have a white supremacist show of force was undermined by a multifaceted anti-racist mobilization of hundreds of counter-protestors. The white supremacists brought out just dozens, who were kept inside a police pen.
A White Supremacist Event
The original announcement for “Rock Stone Mountain II” explicitly called the event a “White Resistance rally”. However, the initial event page was deleted by Facebook, and a new page for the February 2 rally calls the event a “Resistance to Communism rally” to save the “landmarks of Our People” – such as the large white supremacist carvings at Stone Mountain Park.
Knowing the identity of the key organizers and planned attendees for the Februrary 2nd rally, leaves no doubt that it is a white supremacist event. The two main organizers for Rock Stone Mountain II are John Michael Estes – an open white supremacist who was radicalized through contact with the Aryan Nations while in prison – and Greg Calhoun, the Grand Dragon of the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia and an active participant in the racist/secessionist League of the South.
The Facebook attendee list for Rock Stone Mountain II also indicates that the League of the South – a group at the forefront of the violence at “Unite the Right” in Charlottesville, VA, 2017 – intend to make a showing on Stone Mountain in February. (For a more detailed discussion of the list of attendees, see our other article.)
The white supremacist organizers of the first “Rock Stone Mountain” rally in 2016 joined their post-rally evening event with a celebration by the National Socialist Movement, who had rallied in Rome, Georgia on the same day. Participants from both events gathered at the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Draketown (near Temple) that night to burn a cross on land by the venue.
Stone Mountain Park’s Racist History
Stone Mountain is the birthplace of the second-era Ku Klux Klan. The giant carvings of Confederate leaders on the mountainside were begun in 1923 by Klansman Gutzon Borglum, who also carved Mt. Rushmore. However, Borglum completed only one head before he abandoned the project in 1925. The State of Georgia purchased the Stone Mountain Park property in 1958 as part of its resistance to civil rights. Fresh work on the carving commenced in 1964 and was completed in 1972. The racist monument has rightly been criticized by the NAACP – who have protested at the site – as well as by current Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
Stone Mountain’s historic importance for the Klan and its white supremacist carving make Stone Mountain Park a natural rallying point for racist organizers today. After white supremacist Dylann Roof massacred Black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, a series of pro-Confederate flag/monument protests were held at Stone Mountain Park. These set the stage for the “Defend Stone Mountain” rally of November 2015, which included an open KKK presence. Some of the same white supremacists then went on to organize the “Rock Stone Mountain” white power rally of April 2016, which was met with a large and multifaceted counter-mobilization by anti-racists.
Currently, white supremacists are interpreting renewed criticism of the Stone Mountain racist carvings by the NAACP, Abrams, and others as confirmation of their worst “white genocide” fantasies. With Atlanta hosting the Superbowl in 2019, key organizers from the original “Rock Stone Mountain” are planning a sequel rally for February to capitalize on the media attention on Atlanta at that time.
The first “Rock Stone Mountain” – hyped as a large “pro-white” rally that would draw attendees from across the country – was a fiasco for the white supremacists, with their small numbers enclosed in a pen and surrounded by police. Some white supremacists were not even able to join the rally, due to the surrounding large counter-mobilization by determined anti-racists.
Now, white supremacists hope that a second “Rock Stone Mountain” rally will bring better results, perhaps due to changes in the US political climate since early 2016.
Anti-racists must mobilize to show them how wrong they are.
We will post further updates about Rock Stone Mountain to our social media as the event approaches, so please follow us for updates. We hope to organize with many other organizations and individuals to make February 2nd a success. We encourage anti-racists and anti-fascists from the South and beyond to begin making plans. Mark your calendar, organize your friends, and begin making travel plans.