Rockmart, GA: Fraudulent Paperwork for October 1st Ku Klux Klan Event?

Update 9/23/2016, 6PM: According to The Polk County Standard Journal, the Klan event has now been cancelled.

A person named on a permit application for an October 1st Ku Klux Klan gathering in Rockmart, Georgia now states that she never consented for her name to be used on the Klan paperwork, and that she neither “support[s] nor endorse[s]” the event.

In recent days Rockmart authorities have received several complaints about the upcoming all-day Klan event scheduled for Seaborn Jones Park. Anti-racists who revealed the Klan event have criticized Rockmart government for failing to warn the public about the event, and for permitting an explicitly “White Christian” event “for god race nation.” Anti-racists are concerned the KKK event will in effect re-segregate the public space by giving control to the Klan for the day. The Klan event is also likely to attract neo-Nazis travelling to a major white power festival in Draketown (25 minutes away) on the same day.

heath-bearden-posted-to-fb-sept-16-2016-dl-9-20-2016Heath Bearden displays his tattoo of a skull featuring a Klan blood drop cross. Bearden is named on the Klan paperwork for October 1st in Rockmart, but organizers may have involved another party in the event application without her consent.

On Monday night of this week, the full permit application for the October 1st Klan event in Rockmart was published on Twitter. Anti-racists were easily able to link four of the five “responsible parties” on the event application to neo-Nazi activity or the Klan. The fifth named individual has issued a statement through her business partner, asserting that when she was approached about the event, she “told him [Klan sympathizer Heath Bearden] emphatically, NO” she would not be involved with the International Keystone Knights of the KKK gathering. According to the new statement, her name was nevertheless added to event paperwork so the Klan event could have “five principal parties” and be permitted to go ahead.

The statement, issued by the business of the fifth person named on the Rockmart permit, may be read in full here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/are-amanda-rhondas-events/for-immediate-release-press-release/1589472178015056

We believe that these claims should be addressed. The City of Rockmart should clarify whether it cut corners on verification to help the Klan event go forward. Anti-racists have been speaking out about the Klan event since they learned of the gathering, on grounds unrelated to official paperwork. However, if the KKK application event is fraudulent, the event permit should now be rescinded. False information on the event application would be another reason for the City to cancel the event.

In the meantime, anti-racists are requesting all concerned parties to continue contacting the City of Rockmart.

For more information and commentary, contact afainatl [at] riseup [dot] net or leave a voicemail at 470-344-4868

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Speak Out Against the Klan’s Public Gathering in Rockmart GA, October 1st 2016

Update 9/23/2016, 6PM: According to The Polk County Standard Journal, the Klan event has now been cancelled.

As highlighted by anti-racist research, the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are hosting an all-day “White Christian Community Event” at Seaborn Jones Park in Rockmart, western Georgia, on October 1st. The City of Rockmart has approved the Keystone Knights’ permit application to use the park’s pavilions from 10AM-6PM. Anti-racists believe that the Klan event is dangerous, not only because it provides an opportunity for Klan recruitment and future growth, but also because unaware users of the park and the nearby Silver Comet Trail could be exposed to hostility from the assembled white supremacists.

thor-3International Keystone Knights leader in Georgia, Greg Calhoun (profile as “Thor Henderson”). Image courtesy of Restoring the Honor

Please call or email the following parties to express your concern:

  1. City of Rockmart main office: 770-684-5454, rockmart-ga.gov
  2. Rockmart Mayor Stephen A. Miller, smiller@rockmart-ga.gov (call main Rockmart number, request transfer)
  3. City Manager Jeff L. Ellis, jellis@rockmart-ga.gov (call main Rockmart number, request transfer)
  4. Trailhead Offices, 678-883-9024, trailhead@rockmart-ga.gov (The Silver Comet Trail runs along Seaborn Jones Park where the Klan event will be held, warn them of threat to trail users.)
  5. Parks & Recreation, 678-757-1001. Jeff Hulsey, Coordinator: jhulsey@rockmart-ga.gov

Be persistent and call/email every day until the event is canceled.

Talking points:

  1. The International Keystone Knights of the KKK gathering is being advertised as a “White Christian” gathering “for god race nation”.
  2. Klan organizers renting all the pavilions at Seaborn Jones Park will in effect turn a public park into segregated whites-only space.
  3. Authorities in Rockmart have behaved disgracefully by not warning the public of the blatantly white supremacist, Klan event which is approaching.
  4. Another neo-Nazi event–the large “Hammerfest” gathering hosted by the Hammerskin Nation–will occur in Draketown, GA on the same day. Draketown and Rockmart are just 25 minutes apart. It is likely that the Rockmart KKK event will attract neo-Nazi militants who are driving to Draketown later in the day. This further increases the danger of the Rockmart event.

Additional Background:

A recently-obtained permit for the International Keystone Knights event lists five people as “responsible parties” for October 1st event in Rockmart. Four of these five individuals are clear Klan or neo-Nazi organizers. Our previous story on the Rockmart event discussed Gregory Todd Calhoun, who was once part of the (neo-Nazi) Aryan Nations and now leads the International Keystone Knights within Georgia. The name “Stephen Monk” on the permit is presumably an alternative spelling of Steven Monk, a neo-Confederate who has recently gone public about his affiliation with the Klan. Heath Bearden displays his Blood Drop Cross (KKK symbol) tattoo prominently on his Facebook profile. As well as being the main applicant on the Seaborn Jones Park permit, Christopher William Bailey has been pictured (alongside Greg Calhoun and Steven Monk) in a photo of a June 2016 National Socialist Movement “meet and greet” gathering in Georgia which was posted to the NSM website.

International Keystone Knights of KKK Hosting “White Christian Community Event” in Rockmart, Georgia, October 1st 2016

Update 9/23/2016, 6PM: According to The Polk County Standard Journal, the Klan event has now been cancelled.

Update 9/19/2016: Permit for the KKK event in Rockmart is now available here.

On October 1st – the same day the white supremacist Hammerskin Nation will hold a major racist festival in Georgia – the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (IKKKKK) have announced a gathering at Seaborn Jones Park in downtown Rockmart, Georgia.

Rockmart is approximately an hour northwest of Atlanta by car. It is approximately 25 minutes north of Draketown GA where the “Hammerfest” gathering is expected to take place. (The Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Draketown is also where the “Aryan Nationalist Alliance” will gather on September 17th.)

The October 1st IKKKKK gathering is promoted as a “White Christian Community Event” running from 10AM to 6PM and featuring vendors, music and food. Seaborn Jones Park is a public space operated by the City of Rockmart.

edited-keystone-knights-at-seaborne-jones-park-rockmart-ga-oct-1st-2016Flyer for the Klan event in Rockmart, GA October 1st

A promotional image for the October 1st IKKKKK gathering was circulated online by Greg “Thor” Calhoun of Cedartown, Georgia. At the time of writing, promotion does not seem to have advanced far beyond Calhoun notifying those already in his circles.

Greg Calhoun was previously involved in the Aryan Nations Knights of the KKK, where he was active alongside Shaun Winkler of Mississippi, a longstanding white power militant and one-time “Imperial Wizard” of the Aryan Nations KKK. Both Calhoun and Winkler eventually switched organization affiliation to the International Keystone Knights. (Winkler is now a member of the National Socialist Movement.)

shawn-winkler-photo-posted-to-vk-19-jun-2016-with-greg-calhoun-dl-8-27-2016Greg Calhoun (L) and Shaun Winkler (R) earlier this year.

On November 14, 2015, Greg Calhoun and his wife Jodi organized a “Defend Stone Mountain” rally at Stone Mountain Park – an event where there was an “obvious” Klan presence according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The November 14, 2015 rally organized by the Calhouns was the immediate precursor to the April 23, 2016 “Rock Stone Mountain” white power rally at the same park, an event which met with concerted anti-racist resistance.

In filings with the Georgia Corporations Division, the International Keystone Knights presently lists “Greg Cochran” as its agent for the State of Georgia – yet the address provided in these filings indicates that “Greg Cochran” is the same person as Gregory Todd Calhoun.

Regionally, October 1st is an unusually busy day for white supremacist organizers. As well as the Hammerskins-sponsored “Hammerfest” in Georgia plus the IKKKKK “White Christian Community Event” in downtown Rockmart, the annual “Stormfront Summit” will be held in East Tennessee on the same weekend, featuring speakers such as David Duke, Paul Fromm, and Atlanta white nationalist/real estate lawyer Sam Dickson.

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.