This article is a joint effort by Atlanta Antifascists and Niall of the Nine. We uncover the identity of more than half of the Georgia Proud Boys who rallied this June in downtown Atlanta. We also identify several other recently-active Proud Boys in Georgia. We outline the history of the Proud Boys in our state; document a recent anti-LGBTQ+ campaign by the group in Columbus, Georgia; uncover histories of domestic violence and even rape (content warning for child sexual abuse); discuss possible future activities; and give advice for countering this far right gang.
Justin Burger (Douglasville, Georgia), Ian Booton (Gibson, GA) and University of Central Florida Student Simon Michael Dickerman in Far-Right Flash Protest at Burnette Chapel
On Sunday, October 29, white nationalists held a five-person flash protest outside the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee (about twenty minutes from Nashville.) A month earlier, gunman Emanuel Kidega Samson targeted Burnette Chapel, killing one congregation member and wounding seven more. A note left in the shooter’s car allegedly mentioned Dylann Roof, the white supremacist responsible for 2015 massacre at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. White nationalists have now seized on the Burnette Chapel shooting for propaganda purposes, for a couple of reasons. First, the mention of Dylann Roof in the note left in Samson’s vehicle could be used to build a “revenge” narrative around the Antioch shooting — a narrative which is helpful to white nationalists. Second, Emanuel Samson was born in Sudan but spent most of his life in the United States. Far-Right commentators such as Alabama-based League of the South publicist/“Alt-South” blogger Bradley Dean Griffin have seized upon the Antioch shooting to increase racist and anti-immigrant sentiment. The shooting is also useful to white nationalists because it can be used to draw false equivalencies and to deflect attention from their own movement’s role in radicalizing Charleston murderer Dylann Roof.
Throughout the weekend of the “White Lives Matter” rally, rumors swirled that Nationalist Front members would show up in Antioch and hold a protest outside Burnette Chapel. However, no such protest occurred on Friday. On Saturday in Shelbyville, racist organizers announced an evening presence at the Antioch church, but this event was eventually cancelled just as the Murfreesboro demonstration had been earlier. However, the next morning, a handful of militant racists showed up outside Burnette Chapel with a banner, until the arrival of police shooed them away. The flash protest was documented by Newsweek correspondent Michael Hayden. By showing up at a church that had already experienced trauma and violence, the white nationalists made it even plainer that their movement does not care about the Burnette Chapel congregation. The racist movement just hoped to exploit a tragedy for its own agenda.
On Sunday March 5th, 2107, over a hundred locals gathered at the Douglas County Courthouse in Douglasville, GA to counter a protest announced by the North Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The North Mississippi Klan was a no-show, but a handful of unaffiliated racists did show their faces, including Randall Wiley Smith, a leader of the Villa Rica, GA-based Aryan Nations Worldwide, as well as Douglasville white nationalist Kenneth Whitman.