IGD Newnan: Community Faces Down NSM, KKK, & Militarized Police

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Cover Photo from Christopher Mathias
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On April 21st, the Nationalist Socialist Movement (NSM) along with the League of the South (LoS), Aryan Nations, and KKK groups, converges in Newnan, Georgia to hold their annual convention and to celebrate the birthday of Adolf Hitler. The NSM grew out of the American Nazi Party, and for decades has been known for dressing in “SS” style uniforms and carrying swastika banners and flags. In 2016, the NSM under the guidance of recently disgraced neo-Nazi leader Matthew Heimbach, dropped use of the swastika and instead moved to utilize a rune symbol also used by the Nazi party, in order to enter into the mainstream. Along with Heimbach and the recently defunct Traditionalist Worker Party, the NSM, Vanguard America, KKK factions, and League of the South formed the “Nationalist Front.”

Over the last decade, the NSM has been linked to a variety of acts of violence and murder. In 2011, NSM leader Jeff Hall was murdered by his 10 year old son, who told authorities that he was angry that Hall was abusing his mother and himself. In 2012, NSM leader J.T. Ready murdered his girlfriend and three others before turning the gun on himself. Also in 2012, two NSM members were arrested and accused of stockpiling weapons and planning to attack a Mexican consulate.

In August of 2017, the NSM along with other groups, took part in the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, and participated in violent attacks and clashes. Months later, they also were present and took part in violent attacks in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro against local townspeople, including one young gentleman who was on his lunch break, and later, and interracial couple that was at a restaurant. Lastly, in 2018, an NSM member who attended Unite the Right was arrested on charges of terrorism for attempting to hijack an AMTRAK train in order to carry out acts of murder. Other groups joining the NSM in Newnan also have an extensive history of murder, attempted bombings, and violent activities.

While the NSM presents itself as a “non-violent” “white civil rights organization,” it’s proposal for a new United States is simply a copy and paste from the Nazi Party in Germany. In their idealized version of a fascist America, NSM proposes the shutting down of all forms of freedom of speech, “Marxist labor unions,” and press that holds views counter to their own. They state that all non-whites, non-heterosexual, and all Jews must leave the United States or face the consequences. Beyond that, they also propose that this new Nazified America will require “living space,” and thus reserves the right to invade and take over other countries.

In the lead up the protests in Newnan, local and national press did more to play up fears of antifascist counter-demonstrators breaking shop windows, than of the neo-Nazi and KKK members who were coming, largely from out of State. The night before the rally in Newnan, Alt-Right leaders such as Chris Cantwell encouraged those attending to carry guns and give “NO WARNING SHOT” before firing on counter-demonstrators, referencing a KKK member who shot at an African-American counter-demonstrator in Charlottesville. Others encouraged neo-Nazis to bring concealed knives to the demonstration in order to attack counter-protesters. By and large media, especially “liberal” and ‘Center-left” media has refused to pick up on these threats, and instead focused largely on the spectacle of the clashes themselves. Left out of the entire conversation, is that the antifascist mobilization, which is organized and led by a variety of groups such as the Street Groomers, and anarchist, antifascist, and anti-capitalist organizations; over 20 groups across the local area.

Check out social media roundup here, which will be updated throughout the day.

4:33 PM: Buzzfeed News reports that members of League of the South are on stage with the National Socialist Movement. Berkeley Antifa reports that at least one member of the Loyal White Knights of the KKK from San Francisco has also made the journey from California.

6 PM: Nazis have left. Media reports 10 arrests, all on antiracist side. Misdemeanors. See link at top to donate to get those arrested out of jail.

3:55 PM: Media reports only 30-35 neo-Nazis have turned out for the demonstration.

3:40 PM: Local news reports that the NSM is in town, but not yet at the rally. This is typical of police operations in this situation. Police are waiting to contain and manage the crowd before they will bring in the neo-Nazis.

3:05 PM: People have arrived outside of police checkpoint. Reports of police pepper spraying the crowd and arresting various counter-demonstrators on the antiracist side.

2:17 PM: Police driving around in tanks and BEAR Cat vehicles now pointing automatic weapons at protesters on sidewalks. Reports of at least 5 arrests.


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