In November 2017, white supremacist Chester Doles took a plea deal for two charges of battery in Lumpkin County, Georgia. The charges stem from a brawl involving Doles and other white supremacists affiliated with the Hammerskins gang. The incident took place at Johnny B’s restaurant and bar in Doles’ home city of Dahlonega, December 2016. Chester Doles was still on probation from his plea deal when he organized a far-Right rally in Dahlonega this September.
The battery case and Doles’ probation status have already been covered by the media. However, we are publishing a police report and case files from this incident for the first time. These documents highlight several key members of the Hammerskin Nation racist gang (and its “Crew 38” support formation) who were active in our region circa 2016.
In early April, our organization exposed metro Atlanta resident John Lee Clemmer as a member of the white nationalist organization Identity Evropa (IE) and an active racist propagandist operating under the alias “Why Tea”. Clemmer bankrolled an expensive banner action by the white power organization IE on Georgia Tech campus in late 2017. Clemmer also snuck far-Right messages into his science fiction novels and forcefully campaigned against a Black teaching assistant at the University of Georgia.
We identified “Why Tea” as John Lee Clemmer via leaked discussion logs from IE, which were published by the Unicorn Riot independent media collective. Identity Evropa has now rebranded as the “American Identity Movement” (AmIM). At the time, we did not know whether Clemmer had stuck with the white power organization after its name change, but new evidence establishes that Clemmer has remained in IE/AmIM.
With the publication of our article on Clemmer, we alerted Clemmer’s employers at International Business Machines (IBM), where he was working as a managing consultant for Cloud Identity Services. We also mailed flyers to Clemmer’s neighbors in Smyrna, Georgia, informing them of the racist propagandist in their midst. In response, Clemmer lied and insisted that he had been misidentified.
In May, we updated our article to state that “We have received multiple indications that John L. Clemmer is no longer working for IBM”. We pointedly did not write that Clemmer had been fired.
Now, Unicorn Riot has published a new set of leaked messages from AmIM, providing discussion from that group’s “Dox Support” channel. This channel was established so that members of the racist organization who had been publicly identified could discuss how best to respond. John Lee Clemmer appears in this channel as “Humanbiodiversity”: a scientific-sounding euphemism for racism. In one message, “Humanbiodiversity” discusses “when antifa sent flyers to all my neighbors” and the neighbors’ responses. Due to the timing and details of what occurred, this could only refer to the mailing of John Lee Clemmer’s neighborhood. Elsewhere, “Humanbiodiversity” clumsily switches from writing about his experience in the first person to referring to John Lee Clemmer in the third person. Since Clemmer shared his thoughts in a closed chat exclusively for AmIM members, it is clear that Clemmer stuck with the white nationalist organization IE after it rebranded as AmIM.
On September 14, 2019, a “Patriots”/Trump rally took place in Dahlonega, Georgia. The main organizer for the rally was Chester Doles, a neo-Nazi and self-described “fourth-generation Klansman”. Although organizers claimed their rally was not white supremacist, and the speaker lineup even included Black conservative commentator Lucretia Hughes in addition to white nationalistspeakers, one of the main organized groups at the rally was from a North Georgia-based Ku Klux Klan faction, the SCKKKK. Here, we identify several members or supporters of this Klan group, discuss their role in the September 14 Dahlonega rally, and provide some background on their organization.
On the day of Doles’ rally, a group of approximately twenty people marched with Doles into their designated rally area. Doles’ supporters had initially met up in a nearby parking lot. A picture from this lot shows that two KKK members, Jonathan Keith Miller and Robert C. McDuffie, were among the first to meet up with Doles.
By the time Doles’ group marched in, three others formed a small group with McDuffie and Miller. The five stuck together throughout the event. Two of the others, Robert Craig Korom and Cody Steven Cantrell, are Klan supporters and likely members. We have not identified the fifth member of the group, and therefore cannot establish whether he is a Ku Klux Klan member or merely tagged along with the Klan group for Doles’ rally.
North Georgia residents and Southern anti-racists are organizing against the September 14 far-Right rally. We hope that by warning Doles’ neighbors about his history as a violent Klansman and his continued neo-Nazi activity, we impair Doles’ ability to organize.
After their downtown rally, participants are moving to Yahoola Creek Park to continue their event. Although Doles got a neighbor to place his name on the most recent permit application for the downtown rally, it was Chester Doles who rented the pavilion at Yahoola Creek Park for later in the day.
Following their downtown rally and then gathering at Yahoola Creek Park, Doles has announced that there will be an “after party” that night.
There are two permit applications for the September 14th rally. The first was made by Chester Doles on August 1st but withdrawn on August 9th. On the same day that Doles withdrew his permit application, a new application for the same location and time was made by Dahlonega resident Dustin Penner. Chester Doles states that with the new permit application, Doles is no longer “involved […] in any legal capacity” with the September 14 rally. However, Doles’ own social media activity shows that he remains the lead organizer for the upcoming rally. At the time of writing, Doles has organized a “security detail” which is preparing for violence. Doles is also trying to get attendees to bring vehicles, referring to them as good “crowd control” – an apparent reference to vehicular assault.
The initial invitation for the Dahlonega “Trump” event featured antisemitic imagery. A new flyer has now been produced to better mask the nature of the event. Doles has clearly indicated that the Dahlonega rally aims to intimidate his perceived political enemies in North Georgia, in particular liberal activists who Doles portrays as “antifa”. Doles is organizing a “security” team who are readying for violence and has made a special appeal for his old associates from the National Alliance (once the foremost neo-Nazi group in North America) to attend. For further information on the rally and on Chester Doles’ history, see our longer alert here.
The national director of Bikers for Trump, Dale Herndon, has now withdrawn support for the Nazi-organized rally. However, Chester Doles is still attempting to swell his rally’s numbers with Trump Republicans while simultaneously working closely with militant white supremacists.
Chester Doles, a longtime neo-Nazi and “fourth-generation” Klansman, is organizing a pro-Trump rally in downtown Dahlonega, Georgia, scheduled to take place on the afternoon of Saturday, September 14. The Dahlonega rally is an attempt by Doles to draw pro-Trump rightists closer to his own neo-Nazi politics, seemingly with some success. The planned rally is also promoted on Stormfront, a white supremacist website which has been linked to almost a hundred murders.
Dahlonega is a small city in north Georgia, approximately an hour and a half northeast from Atlanta and home to the University of North Georgia. In 2017, Dahlonega made headlines when a Ku Klux Klan sign was prominently displayed on a building in the downtown area – an attempt by an angry property owner to embarrass the city. Chester Doles – who lives in Dahlonega and has a past as a real Klan leader – was seeminglyin on the 2017 stunt.
Doles has a long history in the white supremacist movement. While in Maryland, Doles led a Klan group. After serving prison time for assaulting a Black man (followed by a burglary conviction for which he got probation), Doles moved to Georgia, where he led the Georgia unit of the National Alliance, which was once the foremost neo-Nazi organization in the United States. In 2003, Doles was arrested for being a felon in possession of firearms. Doles eventually pled guilty and was released in 2008. More recently, Doles organized with Crew 38, which is the supporter group of the violent Hammerskin Nation racist gang. Doles gave a speech at the Hammerskin Nations’ 2016 national gathering at a Klan bar outside Atlanta.