For months, white supremacists promised to rally on February 2nd – the Saturday before the Super Bowl – at Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta. Despite having hyped their rally since September, their rally completely unraveled in the days leading up to the event. Different “Rock Stone Mountain II” organizers gave different accounts of the collapse. On the 2nd, approximately 150 anti-racists held a celebration march in the community of Stone Mountain, which culminated in burning a Klansman in effigy. Stone Mountain Park – the would-be site of the white supremacist mobilization – was closed for the day, which the Park had abruptly announced the evening before. On Saturday, lines of police in full riot gear waited in formation just behind the closed-off pedestrian gate to the Park.
We have covered white supremacist planning for “Rock Stone Mountain II” since October of last year, when we provided not just an overview of the scheduled event, but also profiled twelve people who had signed up as “going” on Facebook. As we stressed from the beginning, “Rock Stone Mountain II” was an explicitly white nationalist rally, whose initial two leaders were neo-Nazi John Michael Estes and the Georgia Grand Dragon for the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Greg Calhoun. Both these figures were involved with the first “Rock Stone Mountain” at Stone Mountain Park in April 2016, which was outnumbered almost ten-to-one by counter-protesters and met with fierce resistance.
If the “Rock Stone Mountain II” organizers were hoping to do better than their 2016 event, it soon became apparent that they faced steep challenges. In early November, the Stone Mountain Memorial Association – which operates Stone Mountain Park – announced that it would not grant a permit for “Rock Stone Mountain II”. (The Park permitted and protected the initial “Rock Stone Mountain” white power rally of April 2016.) In addition, a coalition of anti-racists – operating under the name FrontLine Organization Working to End Racism, or F.L.O.W.E.R. – was organizing mass opposition to the Klan-/neo-Nazi event, vowing to show up and confront the white supremacists on the day. Continue reading “Victory: The Collapse of “Rock Stone Mountain II””