By Chauncey Alcorn | April 13, 2018
Anti-fascist demonstrators from across the southeastern United States are traveling to Newnan, Georgia, the weekend of April 20 to oppose a planned neo-Nazi rally commemorating Adolf Hitler’s birthday.
Hate group watchdogs from the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League told Mic the event might be the largest gathering of white nationalists and counter protesters since the White Lives Matter rallies in rural Tennessee in October, or the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August.
“I think everyone’s just getting ready to come out and hoping for a big turnout,” activist Sean Wolters, 26, of the anti-racist group All Out Atlanta said in a phone interview Thursday. “Everyone still has the memory of Charlottesville in their minds.”
Neo-Nazi members of the National Socialist Movement, led by Jeff Schoep, recently obtained a permit to host their rally from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on April 21 in Greenville Street Park in downtown Newnan, a town watchdogs say has several Confederate monuments. Newnan is just 34 miles from Temple, Georgia, home of the Georgia Peach Restaurant and Museum, which is frequented by the Ku Klux Klan.
“The owner of that bar is either a KKK member or completely open to having KKK members at his bar,” Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, said. “[The Nazis] chose Newnan because they can have events in a nearby private space.”
Like-minded members of the pro-Confederate League of the South are also rumored to be participating in the event, according Beirich.
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