Filed under: Announcement, Anti-fascist, Community Organizing, Southeast, White Supremacy
The following post offers what you need to know about opposing an upcoming neo-Nazi demonstration in Newnan, Georgia.
Note 4/17/2018: Due to interest, start time for April 21 #NoNaziNewnan protest moved forward 1/2 hour. Post also updated with a meeting point for Newnan.
On April 21, the National Socialist Movement (NSM) – a neo-Nazi organization – aims to have a public rally in Newnan, Georgia. (Newnan is 45 minutes southwest of Atlanta.) The NSM rally coincides with the NSM’s national meeting, also to be held in Georgia from the 20-21st. Anti-racists are calling for a mass presence in Newnan on April 21 to oppose the white supremacist rally that day.
The NSM holds its national meeting close to Hitler’s birthday (April 20) each year. Members of the neo-Nazi outfit from across the country are encouraged to attend. In 2016, the NSM also held their national meeting in Georgia where they formed a white supremacist alliance named the “Aryan Nationalist Alliance,” now renamed as the Nationalist Front. To coincide with their 2016 meeting, the NSM rallied in Rome, Georgia. (Another white power rally the same day, at Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta, was met with multifaceted anti-racist resistance.)
The Nationalist Front including the NSM had a large presence at the bloody “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August. Nationalist Front members were at the forefront of the violence that day. We believe that groups such as the NSM should be opposed so that they cannot build their numbers and enact further violence against people of color, sexual minorities, leftists and other targets.
This article provides further context about why the NSM is coming to Georgia and to Newnan specifically. At the end, we provide information about the #NoNaziNewnan anti-racist mobilization.
One could suppose that the National Socialist Movement are having their event in Georgia because the NSM have a large membership in our state, but this is not the case. Georgia and the South in general have problems with organized white supremacy (as does the rest of the country.) However, the NSM is not particularly strong in Georgia. The last leader for the NSM in Georgia — Floyd Eric Meadows of Rome, Georgia — now seems to be focusing most of his efforts on a racist “heathen” compound in Eastern Tennessee.
The main reason the National Socialist Movement is having its national gathering in Georgia is simply convenience.
The NSM has provided the location for most of its national meeting (minus the Newnan rally) as Temple, Georgia. This almost certainly means that the NSM will be meeting and having their “Odal Rune Lighting” at the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Temple/Draketown.
Patrick Vince Lanzo’s Georgia Peach Oyster Bar, which openly advertises itself as a Klan venue, has a long history of hosting white power events for whichever Nazi or Klan group requests the space. In recent times, the “Aryan Nationalist Alliance” was launched at the Georgia Peach during the NSM national meeting of 2016; the bar was the venue for the notorious Hammerskin Nation gang’s “Hammerfest” festival later that year; and the Peach also hosted smaller gatherings for groups such as Aryan Nations Worldwide and the NSM during this time.
For as long as Patrick Lanzo’s bar is readily available for neo-Nazi and white supremacist gatherings, we can expect organizations such as the NSM and the Hammerskins to take advantage. This in turn affects communities such as Rome (where the NSM rallied in 2016) and now Newnan, when the Nazis venture outside the Temple/Draketown area and have a public rally to coincide with their event at a private business.
Still, one could wonder why Newnan, Georgia – 45 minutes from Temple – is being singled out by the National Socialist Movement for a rally to coincide with its national meeting. Part of this is no doubt also convenience, since the city has a park and was willing to issue a permit.
Another aspect is that neo-Nazis believe that smaller cities (such as Newnan) are more likely to be sympathetic to their message, and that they can perhaps pick up a few recruits from the protest there. The #NoNaziNewnan mobilization aims to prove them wrong on this point and show that the white supremacist message of the NSM is not welcome.
Past racist protests in Newnan by allies of the NSM may also play a part in that organization’s decision to have a show of force in Newnan, and the city may appear attractive to racists and neo-Confederates because of the large number of Confederate monuments in the area.
In November 2016, the white nationalist League of the South held a small pre-election demonstration in Newnan. (The LOS had earlier planned to rally in Grantville, Georgia — also in Coweta County – in September 2016, trying to stir up racial hatred in the aftermath of a murder there, but this LOS protest was cancelled.) The League of the South are presently affiliated with the NSM in the “Nationalist Front” coalition. LOS leader Michael Hill will speak at the NSM’s meeting in Temple this year. So, the city of Newnan was already part of the collective consciousness of the white supremacist coalition.
Everyone Out for #NoNaziNewnan on April 21!
A common idea – promoted by Newnan authorities amongst others – is that one should not protest when neo-Nazis and white supremacists invade a community, since paying these groups attention only helps them. Rather, the neo-Nazis should be allowed to have their race war gathering in peace, being ignored by the rest of the community. This widespread idea is wrong on several levels.
First, failing to demonstrate against neo-Nazis is no guarantee that the racist groups will be starved of media attention (which groups such as the NSM believe will help attract members.) Simply put: the media will treat a neo-Nazi rally as newsworthy, no matter what. The only question is whether the NSM receive coverage of a rally while left largely unopposed, or whether there is a strong showing from those who challenge their white supremacist poison.
Second, League of the South activity in Newnan a year and a half ago suggests that when racist organizing is unopposed and flies under the media radar, this does not in fact make the organizers go away. They may return with their associates.
Finally, the community should mobilize because neo-Nazis and white supremacists are a real threat. The NSM and Nationalist Front’s activity in Charlottesville leaves no question about their violent intent. When white supremacist events take place, this also increases the chance of racist attacks in the area. Rather than hiding or having an event far from the Nazis, the community should rally together to show that it is vigilant and strongly opposed to racist organizing.
We are working with community members in Newnan to oppose the NSM and their white supremacist associates on the 21st. Please join the #nonazinewnan mobilization at 2PM, Saturday the 21st in downtown Newnan. In the meantime, spread the word within your organization or community group. Watch twitter.com/afainatl and the #nonazinewnan hashtag for details and updates. If you are within driving distance, we encourage you to make the trip! Our plan is for a powerful, large-scale mobilization against the neo-Nazis, making it abundantly clear that they are not welcome in Newnan, in Georgia… or anywhere else for that matter.
Facebook event here:
Protest announcement, downloadable posters/flyers, and list of endorsers here: https://afainatl.wordpress.com/2018/04/08/oppose-the-nazi-rally-in-newnan-ga-april-21/