Newnan, Georgia Authorities Cite Far-Right Militia Sympathizer as Basis for April 21st Planning

Update 5/1/2018: According to new information released in response to a public records request, it appears that the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office also relied on the militia sympathizer’s scare story when planning for April 21. See Unicorn Riot’s story here.

According to the City of Newnan, police relied on a fantasy written by an “anti-antifa” sympathizer of the far-Right militia movement when deciding on a mammoth police presence against anti-Nazi protesters on April 21.

Last week, The Times-Herald – Newnan, Georgia’s main paper – published the story “Police clarify arrests, heavy presence during rally.” The Times-Herald article attempts to push back against media coverage of the militarized police in Newnan on April 21st, who charged an anti-racist crowd and pointed guns at protesters. Law enforcement now tries to build a narrative around “agitators” within the anti-racist crowd. The Times-Herald published Newnan Police Department and Coweta County Sheriff’s Office claims without any counterpoint from anti-racists or non-police observers.

april 21 arrest
Militarized police arresting anti-racist, April 21, 2018. (Still from Copwatch video.)

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April 21: Nazi Rally in Newnan, Georgia Resisted by Anti-Racists, Assisted by Militarized Police

Introduction

On April 21, 2018, the National Socialist Movement (NSM) held a small rally at the Greenville Street Park in Newnan, Georgia, 45 minutes southwest of Atlanta. The NSM’s application to use the Park — accepted by the City of Newnan for $50 — stated that the Nazi organization would bring fifty to a hundred participants for its white power rally. This was expected to be one of the largest displays of open white supremacists since the bloody “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year. In the end, the NSM attracted approximately half its minimum projected attendance and was protested by several hundred. To create conditions for the NSM event to take place, the entire City of Newnan was militarized, with approximately 700 police from various agencies swamping the City, mobilizing a large number of military surplus vehicles, then brutalizing and arresting anti-racist protesters. We are proud of the anti-racist protesters in Newnan on Saturday. Both “antifa” and other anti-racists continued to protest even as police pointed guns at them for no apparent reason, and repeatedly charged into the #NoNaziNewnan anti-racist assembly to violently arrest demonstrators. Further, the large organized presence from the Black community in Coweta County — visible directly across the street from the Nazi rally — was inspiring. The NSM event flopped. Anti-racists and anti-fascists have much to be pleased with from the 21st, despite the fresh instances of repression which we must now address. State displays of force such as we witnessed in Newnan seem increasingly likely as anti-fascists move forward in the South. The same is probably true throughout the US. In our conclusion, we will briefly discuss ramifications of this changed strategic situation.NoNaziNewnan.jpg

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