White Power “Atlanta Forum” Held in Marietta, January 28 2017

On January 28, 2017, just under fifty white nationalists met for the “Atlanta Forum,” a gathering billed as “a Southern nationalist conference of the Alt-Right.” Atlanta Antifascists organized to confront this gathering; however, on the day the racists got lucky, and we did not verify the meeting-place until the evening. 

Earlier in the day, assembled anti-racists held a spirited march through an Atlanta neighborhood which has been repeatedly hit by racist propaganda. (A report from some participants — published before the discovery of the Atlanta Forum venue — may be found here.) Unfortunately, by the time the Atlanta Forum venue was discovered, anti-racist forces were dispersed. Available anti-racists focused on documentation as well as notifying the venue, where Atlanta Forum attendees were still socializing and networking.

Atlanta Forum participants in Lobby of Marietta Hilton, night of January 28th

The Atlanta Forum was held at the Hilton Atlanta / Marietta Hotel & Conference Center in Cobb County, booked under the name “Michael Cushman Discussion Group.” Hotel management later claimed that white power Atlanta Forum attendees had left the premises by the time anti-racists notified the Hotel. This claim is contradicted by eyewitnesses, as well as by brief footage taken in the Hilton’s lobby after the space had been contacted.

Planning for the Atlanta Forum was secretive. As discussed on an episode of “The Daily Shoah” podcast after the event, white nationalists knew that there are “active and organized” antifascists in Atlanta. For this reason, they took countermeasures. Before the event, Atlanta Forum planners released a promotional image providing an early morning “meet up” point at Stone Mountain Park (in DeKalb County, some distance from Marietta). This “meet up” location turned out to be misinformation, a possibility we had noted in our earlier writing. Atlanta Forum organizer “Musonius Rufus” admitted that his event would have been larger, except for its “OpSec” (operations security) needs against antifascists, which made it harder for newcomers to the white power scene to attend. 

As expected, Atlanta white nationalist Sam Dickson, as well as regional racist figures such as Michael Cushman and “Musonius Rufus,” all talked at the Atlanta Forum. Other presenters included RG Miller of the Arkansas League of the South, and Alabama resident Bradley Griffin (AKA Hunter Wallace) of the Occidental Dissent website. Matthew Heimbach, Indiana-based leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party, also participated in a panel discussion. Demonstrating their commitment to white nationalist networking, Atlanta Forum participants had a brief exchange of greetings by conference call with the New York Forum, another “Alt-Right”/far-Right event held on the same day.  

“Mike Enoch” of TheRightStuff website did not make it to the Atlanta Forum as was earlier announced, his cancellation owing to troubles from the “out-ing” of his real-world identity as tech worker Mike Peinovich. (Peinovich’s wife being revealed as Jewish was especially scandalous within the white supremacist scene.) In the end, Peinovich attended the New York Forum instead of traveling to Georgia. 

In related developments, the Atlanta Forum organizers moved their “Rebel Yell” podcast away from TheRightStuff website after the Enoch/Peinovich controversy broke. They rebranded as “Identity Dixie,” launching their new site a week before the Atlanta Forum. As evidenced by “Musonius Rufus” later appearing on Peinovich’s “Daily Shoah” to discuss the Atlanta Forum, ties to TheRightStuff remain. 

The Atlanta Forum highlights the presence of an “Alt-South” network which joins racist neo-Confederacy with the “Alt-Right.” Michael Cushman, Brad Griffin, and the hosts of the “Rebel Yell” podcast appear to be key players in this incipient alliance. Locally, Sam Dickson represents the white nationalist old guard, but a network of college-aged Alt-Right racists also exists in and around Atlanta — some of whom attended the Atlanta Forum.

Fortunately, grassroots anti-racist/anti-fascist forces are growing in the South as well. We would have preferred to have found the Atlanta Forum early, but even without this our efforts cut into event attendance. Our organizing against the Atlanta Forum increased our skills and capacity. Atlanta Forum planners are already discussing about how next time, hosting their gathering on state property rather than a private venue may be a safer bet. We’ll see how that goes. 

Updates on January 28th White Nationalist “Atlanta Forum”

For months, white nationalists have been organizing the “Atlanta Forum,” a gathering scheduled for Saturday, January 28 which has been advertised as “a Southern nationalist conference of the Alt-Right.” Atlanta Antifascists are still searching for the Atlanta Forum venue, but since our initial post on this event additional information has come to light.

On January 11th, just two days after our initial alert, a flyer for The Atlanta Forum was posted to the Facebook page for The Rebel Yell — a white power podcast on The Right Stuff website, whose hosts are involved in the Atlanta Forum’s organizing and promotion. The flyer provides the names of four speakers (discussed below), an updated time for the event (8AM-4PM instead of 9AM-4PM as previously announced), and finally a “meet up” point in Stone Mountain Park for those wishing to attend.

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Atlanta Forum flyer posted to The Rebel Yell page on Jan. 11

Stone Mountain has a long history of white supremacy, and last year Stone Mountain Park saw confrontation between anti-racists and an explicitly “white power” rally that was issued a permit there. While it is possible that the event “meet up” point on the flyer is correct, we are currently evaluating this information. Atlanta Forum organization has generally been kept under wraps — misdirection attempts against potential protesters are possible.

In another development, the “TRS Confederates”/“Rebel Yell” website was revamped on January 15, and the Atlanta Forum “Conference” page mentioned in our initial article disappeared. We do not think that people should leap to any conclusions from this website change, however.

Atlanta Antifascists request that anti-racists in our region keep their schedules open on January 28th — from early morning onward – and be ready to oppose white supremacist organizing that day. To receive the latest updates on our efforts against the Atlanta Forum, either join the event “Stop the Atlanta Forum,” linked from our Facebook page, or check our Twitter regularly. We urge venues and event spaces to remain on the lookout for suspicious bookings for the 28th.

While we are still verifying some of the information on the Atlanta Forum event flyer, we are confident that the list of conference speakers is accurate. Below is information on these individuals.

Speakers Listed on the “Atlanta Forum” Flyer:

  •         Michael Cushman

Michael Cushman is a Southern nationalist based in South Carolina. He is a former member of the National Alliance — at one time the largest neo-Nazi organization in the US — as well as of the secessionist/white nationalist League of the South, which he left in 2015. Cushman currently operates the “Southern Future” website and prior to this ran the “Southern Nationalist Network” site. He also designed the Southern nationalist “Cushman flag” which is incorporated in the initial logo for the Atlanta Forum (as is the Confederate battle flag and the “Black Sun” far-Right symbol.) Cushman is the author of Our Southern Nation, which has been well-received within the neo-fascist and white power blogosphere.

  •         Sam Dickson

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Sam Dickson at National Policy Institute gathering November 2016. (Image from Idavox.)

Georgia attorney Sam Dickson has been a major figure in the white nationalist movement for decades. Dickson has for example talked at every conference for the suit-and-tie racists of American Renaissance, and is also a regular speaker at National Policy Institute gatherings. In the past, Dickson has worked for Klansmen as a lawyer, but he really made his money on the Atlanta property market, where he purchased unpaid tax debts and used these as leverage to obtain properties in areas that are gentrifying at bargain prices. (For more on Dickson and the Atlanta property market, see this 2016 article. Dickson also owns property in Key West, Florida.)

  •         Mike Peinovich/“Mike Enoch”

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Mike Peinovich AKA “Mike Enoch”

Mike Peinovich, who goes by the name “Mike Enoch” online, runs The Right Stuff website which began in December 2012 and is one of largest online promoters of the white nationalist “Alt-Right.” The Right Stuff circulates far-Right podcasts such as the recently-ended “Fash the Nation” as well as Enoch/Peinovich’s “The Daily Shoah” (the podcast’s name references the Holocaust.) The Right Stuff forums have been an online organizing hub for white nationalists, while The Right Stuff has also encouraged offline activity such as “pool party” racist meetups and poster campaigns.

On January 13, “Mike Enoch” had his identity as Manhattan-based tech worker Peinovich leaked online. While some white supremacists have blamed this “doxing” on antifascists, it appears that this information was initially released by white supremacists as part of a feud about individuals on the Alt-Right who are accused of being soft on Jews. As part of this “doxing,” it was revealed that Peinovich’s wife was Jewish (and had appeared on “The Daily Shoah” show). This has led to scandal and infighting within the Alt-Right. At the time of writing, The Right Stuff forums are down but Peinovich apparently has separated from his wife and intends to continue with his racist, anti-Semitic organizing.

Since the Atlanta Forum flyer was released before Peinovich’s identity was revealed, it is now uncertain whether Peinovich will attend. Whatever the case, the recent disclosures regarding Peinovich and The Right Stuff are sure to cast a shadow over any event linked to that website, such as the Atlanta Forum.

  •         “Musonius Rufus”

“Musonius Rufus” is the alias for a host of “The Rebel Yell,” a podcast by “TRS Confederates” circulated on The Right Stuff. “Musonius” gives his location as Tennessee. He appears — like many of The Right Stuff participants — to have a history on the libertarian Right prior to going full-on “fashy” and white nationalist.

“The Rebel Yell” broadcast which “Rufus” is involved with has its origin in pro-Confederate flag organizing by The Right Stuff soon after the 2015 Charleston massacre — “The Rebel Yell” Facebook page was initially a page for “Battle Flag the 4th” organizing, with the “Rebel Yell” podcast being launched later. “The Atlanta Forum” builds upon a central theme of “The Rebel Yell” podcast: that is, the racism of the “Alt-Right” combined with neo-Confederacy and Southern nationalism.

Aryan Nationalist Alliance Gathering at Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Draketown, Sept. 17 2016

Update 9/13/2016: According to the NSM, Matthew Heimbach has cancelled his appearance at the Aryan Nationalist Alliance event “due to a conflict on time.”

The Aryan Nationalist Alliance (ANA) – the pact of white supremacist groups established just before the National Socialist Movement (NSM) / Loyal White Knights of the KKK rally in Rome GA on April 23 – has now announced a gathering at the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Draketown (near Temple) GA on September 17th.

The ANA meeting will take place exactly two weeks before Hammerfest, which is the national gathering for another white supremacist organization, the Hammerskin Nation. Hammerfest is also expected to take place at the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar. (The Georgia Peach is less than an hour’s drive west of Atlanta; since publishing our initial story on Hammerfest, we have received further corroboration that Patrick Lanzo’s Georgia Peach will be the venue on Oct. 1st.)

Aryan National Alliance Sept 17 2016 GA Peach EDITEDAryan Nationalist Alliance event announced on front page of National Socialist Movement website

The September 17 Aryan Nationalist Alliance event is announced on the front page of the National Socialist Movement’s website. The gathering was initially planned as a regional meeting for the National Socialist Movement, but was subsequently broadened to be an Aryan Nationalist Alliance event involving several organizations. Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Worker Party – also scheduled to appear at Hammerfest on Oct 1st – will speak, as will the head of the NSM, Jeff Schoep. The announcement promises a “Swastika & Cross Lighting” for the evening.

The National Socialist Movement in Georgia has been formally reorganized over recent months with new leadership. The NSM head organizer in GA is now Floyd Eric Meadows, who has a past with the League of the South and the Southern Cross Militant Knights of the KKK. Prior to his new role as state leader for the NSM, Meadows had been listed as an NSM member in 2011.

Regionally, the NSM has used its April 23rd events in Georgia plus its central role within the Aryan Nationalist Alliance to draw white power activists into its ranks. Shaun Winkler of Mississippi (previously involved with the Aryan Nations and the International Keystone Knights of the KKK) as well as Rebecca Barnette of Tennessee (one of the main organizers of White Lives Matter) are two Southern white supremacist leaders who have joined with the NSM in recent months.

As always, if you have information on white power organizing in Georgia and especially near Atlanta, please get in contact.

National Socialist Movement and “Rock Stone Mountain” Combine Post-Rally Evening Events, Georgia April 23rd

White Supremacist Gatherings on April 23rd Combine Evening Events

Two white supremacist gatherings scheduled for April 23 in Georgia–the “Rock Stone Mountain” event at Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta, plus the National Socialist Movement-hosted rally in Rome, Georgia–have now combined their evening events. This new arrangement has been confirmed by National Socialist Movement (NSM) statements to the press and also by Rock Stone Mountain main organizer John Michael Estes when he appeared on an NSM internet radio broadcast.

The daytime white power events in Georgia are still separate, although the Rome GA rally by the NSM, Loyal White Knights of the KKK, plus allies will begin marching slightly later to facilitate participation by white supremacists making the two-hour drive from the “Rock Stone Mountain” event which is scheduled to begin at 11AM. (The NSM rally in Rome is still billed to start at 3PM, although organizers now say that marching may begin anywhere from 3:30 to 4PM to facilitate arrivals from the Stone Mountain event.) After the NSM rally in Rome, the combined racist forces then plan to drive 45 minutes south to the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Draketown (near Temple) GA for an evening event of racist music plus a cross- and swastika-lighting.

NSM April 23 2016 after-event latest flyerRevised flyer for April 23 evening event

Earlier on the 23rd, the white supremacists of “Rock Stone Mountain” still plan to march to the top of Stone Mountain outside of Atlanta, although they will be confronted with a large showing of anti-racists determined to shut them down. Initially, Rock Stone Mountain had planned a separate evening event, but the Rock Stone Mountain organizers lost their first evening venue in early March.

The merger of the of the two evening events took place following negotiations between NSM and Rock Stone Mountain organizers. The result is that some musical acts planned for the Rock Stone Mountain evening event will now be performing at the Georgia Peach in Draketown/Temple GA, which the NSM had initially booked for their post-Rome after-party. (The NSM provides a location of “Temple, Georgia” for their National Meeting on Friday, April 22nd, suggesting that they will be using the Georgia Peach then as well.)

The combined evening events indicate that “Rock Stone Mountain” is no longer making even slight efforts to disguise its white supremacist agenda or its connections to neo-Nazism. Despite “Rock Stone Mountain” having referenced the white supremacist terror group The Order in earlier outreach materials, rally organizers had also asked that “participants not bring flags or banners representing any foreign nation or power, historical or current, to the rally.” In other words, while they encouraged Confederate flags they didn’t want Nazi Germany ones. It now seems that “Rock Stone Mountain” organizers have lost their last few scruples about how they are perceived, since they are openly cooperating with one of the nation’s largest neo-Nazi groups.

When Rock Stone Mountain activist John Michael Estes appeared on a recent NSM-hosted internet radio show to discuss the merged evening events, he revealed details about Rock Stone Mountain internal organizing, the band line-up for evening of the 23rd, and his own political background. The NSM broadcast began by celebrating the emerging white power coalition for the 23rd, with organizers boasting that they had “unite[d] many, many […] organizations.”

John Estes discussed support for the Rock Stone Mountain racist rally, claiming that: “We’ve even gotten support from the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which would have been unheard of just a few years ago.” An NSM show host claimed that leaders from the racist/secessionist League of the South were also expected at the Rock Stone Mountain rally.

Not all of Rock Stone Mountain’s efforts appear to have gone smoothly, however. John Michael Estes announced:

[Long-time white supremacist leader] Billy Roper will not be a part of Rock Stone Mountain. He dropped out months ago and he’s not one of the planners. He’s not contributing anymore.”

Estes downplays Roper’s significant involvement in early Rock Stone Mountain planning. Whatever conflict may have occurred between Roper and other organizers, Rock Stone Mountain is still promoted on the website for Divine Truth Ministries, the white supremacist “Christian Identity” outfit which Roper co-founded towards the end of last year.

During his interview, Estes also discussed the current band line-up for the evening of the 23rd:

“One of these bands is ‘Southern Secession.’ They’re playing under that name for this event, but they are basically going to be a Johnny Rebel tribute band […] Also Tracy Cantley will be coming to play his outlaw country. There’s another band that is supposed to be coming, but we’re having some guitarist problems right now, trying to get those sorted out.”

In the current interview, Estes does not mention the notorious racist rock group Definite Hate, who had earlier been advertised as participating in Rock Stone Mountain.

John Michael Estes: Background and Worldview

john michael estes from FB dl 4 15 2016Rock Stone Mountain primary organizer John Michael Estes

Estes’ interview on the NSM broadcast also disclosed his own background and worldview. Estes talked about his radicalization as a white supremacist, stating that he ordered books from the Aryan Nations while he was in prison. Since that time, Estes claims:

“I’ve been involved with National Socialism, I’ve been involved with Odinism, I went through the Christian Identity phase at one time. I’m about my race–race first and the 14 Words.”

Christian Identity is a racist religion which claims that whites are God’s true chosen people, that Jews are imposters of Satanic descent, and that people of color are less than fully human. The website of Covenant People’s Ministry–a Christian Identity operation in Brooks, GA—states that it “began […] 1996 and was founded by two Christian identity believers — John Michael Estes and Jeromy John Visser.”

The “14 Words” referenced by Estes is a white power slogan authored by David Lane, a now-deceased member of The Order/Brüder Schweigen terror group. (The 14-word slogan is: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”) The Order raised funds for the white power movement via counterfeiting and a series of armed robberies; it bombed an adult theatre and a synagogue; and the group murdered Jewish talk-show host Alan Berg. David Lane was convicted for violating Berg’s civil rights for his participation in the assassination.

rock stone mountain RJM image from Twitter Dec 8 2015“Rock Stone Mountain” promotional image featuring Robert Jay Mathews (pointing finger)

As revealed in the NSM internet radio interview, John Michael Estes showed his devotion to The Order’s legacy earlier this year, when Estes made a “pilgrimage” (his own words) to Whidbey Island in Washington State. Whidbey Island was where Order leader Robert Jay Mathews died in a firefight with federal authorities in December 1984.

Estes doubtless sees himself as leading his forces into battle on April 23rd for the same white power cause as Matthews believed in.

It is time to confront the white power alliance Estes and other white supremacists have pulled together, before this alliance grows any further. For information on anti-racist opposition at Stone Mountain on April 23rd, visit All Out ATL.