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Aug 17, 20

Report Back on ‘Protect the South’ Rally in Stone Mountain

Report back on mass action against neo-Confederate rally in Stone Mountain, Georgia this past Saturday.

The rally was disrupted initially by the park’s decision to close Stone Mountain Park for the entire day on Saturday, August 15th. Tennessee Radical Collective (TRC) arrived on the ground at Stone Mountain Village at 8:00am. When we arrived, the police had already erected barricades at both ends of Main Street and several of the neighborhood roads leading to Main Street. All Village businesses appeared to be closed.

from @antinazifrombi1

Local protesters and anti-fascists entered the Main Street area at approximately 9:00am. At that time there were about 75 of us. Within a half-hour 14 Three Percenters positioned themselves on the other side of the barricade on the North end of Main Street. This left protesters occupying the whole middle section of Main Street in the business and gazebo area. All Three Percenters were heavily armed and we approached and engaged. For the next hour and a half, protesters and antifa engaged aggressively with Three Percenters and succeeded in pushing them off of Main Street up a side street leading into the neighborhood, where they temporarily took shelter against the outside of the local library. Multiple flags and hats were taken and burned. Eventually we pushed them further into the neighborhood to a small parking lot where their trucks were parked. All license plates were recorded. Subsequently, protesters marched past the parking lot where the 3%ers were contained, and down a neighborhood street leading back to Main Street. At this point we were about two and a half hours into the action.

Within 20 minutes of the march returning to Main Street significant numbers of Three Percenters, Patriots, Klan, and neo-Confederates arrived. By 11:00am there were approximately 450 local protesters and antifascists faced off against 150 fash. We moved back up the neighborhood street and erected barricades to prevent 10 to 15 trucks from entering the counter-demonstration space on Main Street. We held our barricades for several hours; all fash were heavily armed and we were significantly out gunned. They engaged in a pre-planned tactic of using chemical agents (mace, pepper spray, and Raid) against us; shooting many antifascists in the face as possible and then attempting to take face shots once we were on the ground receiving medical aid. The majority of our 7 person crew took hits, as did many others, but we continued to engage.

08.15.20. Counter-protesters show out as they march with anti-trump & anti-white supremacy signs and banners.

Posted by Anissa Matlock on Saturday, August 15, 2020

While the barricades served the intended purpose of blocking cars, there was no intent to block individuals and the two groups occupied the common ground of the Methodist Church yard and the area around the blocked trucks. Fairly significant fighting occurred, truck tires were slashed, flags were burned, etc. During the entire course of the events described so far, Dekalb County police and GBI agents were present in regular uniform and made absolutely no attempt to interfere or engage. Between 2 and 3pm the majority of fash began to leave, and it was at that point that heavy numbers of Dekalb County and APD riot police and National Guard entered the area in an attempt to kettle leftists. Our crew made it out fully intact with no arrests, albeit carrying one of our members who had been injured. Locals monitoring also informed us that DHS was on the ground. Police and National Guard set up checkpoints within a mile perimeter but did not search cars leaving the area.

Important Observations: What we encountered in Stone Mountain yesterday is the same as what we have seen across Tennessee, Ohio, and Kentucky. Police are not engaging when fash and antifascists are both armed and do not attempt to prevent violent engagement. In Stone Mountain 23 National Guard armed assault vehicles with full crews kept their position close by but hidden and did not engage until a majority of fascists had pulled out. After Stone Mountain, and other recent actions, it is our belief that police and other governmental entities want these clashes to turn into gunfights – basically urban warfare.

Additionally, we are observing antifascists, who we would not describe as ‘antifa,’ but who show up armed – as we are – but actively do not engage or attempt to push fascists out of an area. In Stone Mountain they also did not assist with barricading to protect protesters from trucks. It appears their MO is non-engagement and holding back a perimeter unless gun fire erupts. We have no confidence about the level of protection they would provide in this event; we simply do not know.

We consider yesterday a successful action.

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