Chronology: Six Months of Far-Right Activity in Georgia, April 23 – October 23, 2016

We have prepared a chronology documenting six months of far-Right activity in Georgia: April 23 – October 23 of this year.

To download a file for reading, right click here.

To download a file for making pamphlets, click here.

Additional notes November 14, 2016:

  • We have been contacted by the person who appeared in Nazi uniform at a Helen, GA beer hall on October 17, 2016. This person states that he is a reenactor. Wearing Nazi symbols in public will lead to people noticing and negative responses.
  • After we published our chronology, we learned of an “Alt-Right” racist gathering at Stone Mountain Park on September 10, 2016. Photos and footage of the gathering are here.

Recent Anti-Racist Outreach in Georgia

Two recent stories on It’s Going Down:

The Hammerskin Nation’s “Hammerfest” event took place on October 1st, 2016, with Patrick Lanzo’s Georgia Peach Oyster Bar used for the venue as expected. Approximately 120 people attended.

Atlanta Antifascists now have a voicemail number as well as email, so feel free to call with information about neo-Nazi organizing in our region: 470-344-4868
contact-info-sm

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

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.

Neo-Nazi “Hammerfest” Gathering Planned for Georgia, October 1st

The Hammerskin Nation, a long-running white supremacist organization, has announced that their major “Hammerfest” national gathering will be held in Georgia this October 1st. Hammerskin organizers plan to bring several bonehead (racist “skinhead”) musical acts into Georgia, including one band travelling from Finland to play the event. White supremacist speakers are also scheduled — one of these speakers being a prominent up-and-coming leader in the white power movement. The early October event will draw Hammerskin Nation members and supporters from across the country, as well as militants from other parts of the white power movement.

The October 1st event is being promoted not only on the closed “Crew 38” site for Hammerskin Nation supporters, but also on a number of other white power forums such as the notorious Stormfront.org. This is the second time in two years that “Hammerfest” will take place in Georgia – the 2014 Hammerskin national gathering was in Georgia as well. This year’s gathering features bigger names than the 2014 event in Georgia, and will likely attract larger numbers. Expect several dozen to upward of a hundred white supremacists gathering, networking with each other, and making plans.

The Hammerskins — who are hosting the October event in Georgia — were founded in the late 1980s in Dallas, Texas. They operate as a street-level bonehead (racist “skinhead”) crew, generally organizing through the white power music scene as well as maintaining links with sectors of the broader racist movement. The first Hammerskin chapter was known as the “Confederate Hammerskins,” but as the Hammerskins grew, new regional groups such as the Northern Hammerskins were also established. These regional groups are banded together within the “Hammerskin Nation” franchise. The Hammerskin Nation website currently lists chapters not only in the US, but also in Canada, several European countries, New Zealand and Australia. Throughout their history the Hammerskins have earned a reputation using extreme violence on behalf of their cause – the best-known example would be Hammerskin member Wade Michael Page’s murder of six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012 before he killed himself.

In Georgia, there has been a presence of Confederate Hammerskins — the Hammerskin division for the Southern US — in our state for approximately a quarter century, although membership numbers have fluctuated. For long stretches, the Hammerskin presence in Georgia has been maintained by small numbers. Georgia Hammerskins are able to host national gatherings in our state in part because they can utilize resources from other parts of white power movement in our region, and also because they have the support of the Hammerskin Nation as a whole when hosting the crew’s annual national gathering.

The October 1st Event in Georgia: Musical Acts

A flyer currently being circulated online for the October 1st event features the names of four racist rock acts: Definite Hate, Beer Hall Putsch, Ironwill, and Hate Your Neighbors. Posting this flyer online, Georgia Hammerskin prospect Jason Reeves (writing as “Jason POTN” – “POTN” standing for “Prospect of the [Hammerskin] Nation”) added the following: “Top band from Finland will be headlining. To prevent them from being denied entry the band name is being withheld for now.”

hammerfest 2016 flyer EDITEDFlyer for Hammerfest 2016, headlining act not mentioned.

While Reeves did not disclose the name of the “top band from Finland” slated to play the event, National Socialist Movement member Butch Urban has been more explicit when posting on Stormfront about the gathering. In a post promoting Hammerfest that otherwise matches the details supplied by Hammerskin members, Urban (as “Butch-88”) wrote: “Headlining band is Mistreat from Finland.” In a different thread on Stormfront about this event, the user “BloodandHonourGeorgia” (another online handle used by Jason Reeves) contributed to discussion by linking to Mistreat’s song “We’re Ready” on Youtube. It therefore seems likely that Mistreat are the “top band from Finland” on the bill.

Mistreat are one the better-known white power musical acts from Finland, with a history in the racist “Rock Against Communism” scene that goes back to 1988. (“Rock Against Communism” has been a racist and far-Right musical scene from the beginning — the “RAC” label was first used by the National Front in England to promote white power acts.) Mistreat have historic links to the Hammerskin Nation, having recorded a split album with the St. Paul, Minnesota act Bound for Glory, whose main member Ed Wolbank was also a leader of the Northern Hammerskins. In 2005, Mistreat included a song titled “We Salute You, American Hammerskins” in their “Never Forgive… Never Forget” CD. The Finnish act’s appearance in Georgia would be a major draw for boneheaded aficionados of European “RAC” music.

mistreatMistreat

The other major white power act scheduled to appear on October 1st is the North Carolina-based group Definite Hate. This blog has already written about Definite Hate at length, because at one stage Definite Hate was scheduled to play the evening after-party for the “Rock Stone Mountain” white power rally on April 23rd of this year. While Definite Hate eventually vanished from that event’s advertised lineup, Definite Hate is now seemingly functioning once again and determined to play Georgia. Definite Hate is a longtime Hammerskin band. The band’s old guitarist, Wade Michael Page, has been mentioned above, as the person responsible for the August 2012 mass murder at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Neither the rest of the band nor the Hammerskin Nation as a whole has ever disavowed Page’s murders. Instead, following the massacre, the Hammerskin-affiliated record label Antipathy Records held a special sale with the promotional code “WADEPAGE”.

Another band scheduled to play on October 1st is Beer Hall Putsch, an Idaho-based racist rock group. (The group name references Hitler’s coup attempt in 1923 – Hitler composed Mein Kampf while imprisoned for his role in this Putsch.) As noted in this article by antifascists in the Northwest, Beer Hall Putsch includes one of the leaders of the Northwest Hammerskins (see link.) The frontman for Beer Hall Putsch is Christopher Vertrice Lord, who was imprisoned in the mid-1990s for shooting at a synagogue in Eugene, Oregon.

The final two musical acts on the Hammerfest 2016 bill are Ironwill and Hate Your Neighbors. Ironwill has its roots in the Southern California racist rock scene, but in recent years has been based in Washington State. Ironwill was originally affiliated with the American Front, another neo-Nazi organization, but now regularly features at Hammerskin gatherings.

Hate Your Neighbors is based in Huntington Beach, California and performs songs with titles such as “Hate Crime.” Their Facebook shows the group playing in front of large Hammerskin banner.

The October 1st Event in Georgia: Speakers

The Hammerfest announcement on Stormfront has also named of two guest speakers: “Chester Doles also Matthew Heimbach from Traditionalist Workers Party.”

Of these two names, Heimbach may be the more familiar. Heimbach, currently based in Indiana, is a leader of the Traditionalist Youth Network as well as its party, the Traditionalist Worker Party. Heimbach is a white nationalist who seeks to garner support from those who feel abandoned by traditional conservatism — for Heimbach, the racially-charged populism of the Trump campaign has been a gift and an opportunity.

Matthew Heimbach is frequently cited as one of the most dynamic young leaders of the white nationalist movement in the US, often being compared to David Duke in his earlier years. The White Student Union which Heimbach tried to build while studying at Towson University in Maryland provided a template for occasional other efforts on US campuses, including Patrick Sharp’s 2013 attempt at Georgia State University. Despite his youth — Heimbach was born in 1991 — at this stage Heimbach has a lengthy resume on the white supremacist scene. On one hand, Heimbach is media savvy and attempts to rebrand white nationalist politics as something other than hateful (Heimbach would challenge our use of the term “supremacist”); on the other hand, Heimbach networks and attends events together with members of the Aryan Terror Brigade and the National Socialist Movement.

Heimbach__5071460158091Matthew Heimbach (in red cap, facing camera and leaning forward) at March 1st Trump rally

Heimbach has been busy this year. On March 1st, Heimbach was recorded at a Trump rally in Louisville, KY, yelling at and repeatedly shoving Black protester Shiya Nwanguma. In June, the Traditionalist Worker Party attempted to rally outside the state capitol in Sacramento, CA with support from the Golden State Skinheads (a California white power group) and other white supremacists. While the white supremacists were driven back by protesters, a number of anti-racists were stabbed during the confrontation. (Funds are still needed for medical and legal support for these antifascists, give here.) Heimbach, who was not present at the Sacramento confrontation itself, nonetheless featured prominently in subsequent media coverage, as the go-to person for the Traditionalist Worker Party/“pro-white” view of the events.

chester dolesChester J. Doles of Dahlonega, GA

The second guest speaker is Chester Doles. Doles is a former Klansman who went on to lead the Georgia unit of the National Alliance, an organization that at one point was the most important neo-Nazi group in the US. (The National Alliance is nowadays in shambles.) In 2003, Doles was arrested for being a felon in possession of firearms — Doles had previously served prison time for assaulting a Black man. Many on the far-Right saw the prosecution of Doles as politically-motivated; Doles eventually pled guilty. He was released in 2008, eventually returning to white power activism. A February 2016 post on the website of the “National Alliance Reform and Restoration Group” — who are trying to pry the remainder of the National Alliance’s assets from its current chairman Will Williams — states: “We understand that [Chester] Doles had briefly joined the Williams Alliance last year but quickly dropped out and is now working with another ‘movement’ group in Georgia.” One recent comment published online under Doles’ name reads: “838… Chester J. Doles.” “838” is alphanumeric code for “H.C.H.” or “Hail Crossed Hammers,” a reference to the insignia of the Hammerskin Nation. This suggests that Doles’ involvement with the Hammerskins in Georgia may go beyond a single speaking appearance.

As well as these speakers, the event is to feature vendors from the National Socialist Movement and Antipathy Records, a music label affiliated with the Hammerskin Nation. A third vendor mentioned by Jason Reeves while promoting the event is American Defense Records. Now based in Lexington, KY, American Defense previously operated from Georgia (Athens and Savannah.) In its earlier releases of approximately a decade ago, American Defense Records portrayed itself as an anti-liberal, patriotic skinhead music label but avoided the most unambiguous signs of white supremacy. In recent years, the label has dropped any pretenses about such matters, reissuing Hammerskin-affiliated projects such as Blood in the Face plus Red White And Black on vinyl. Besides releasing records, label boss Travis David Condor is probably best known for his role in a group baseball bat/pipe assault on homeless man in 2010.

Past Hammerskin Events in Georgia and Venue

Traditionally, when it’s turn of the Georgia Hammerskins to host Hammerfest, the boneheads can be found at the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Draketown (near Temple) GA, approximately one hour west of Atlanta. The Georgia Peach is mentioned by name as the Hammerfest venue in an article about gathering in 2005, when the Hammerskins in Georgia hosted. According to the article, there were “approximately 100” attendees at the event that time around. (Definite Hate were mentioned as one of the major draws.)

More recently, Georgia Hammerskins organized the national gathering in 2014. Hungarian “Rock Against Communism”/Hammerskin band Vérszerződés was the main attraction that time around. While event flyers listed “Central Georgia” as the Hammerfest location, the Georgia Peach was explicitly thanked immediately after the gathering.

2014 Hammerfest antipathy records

The Georgia Peach is not only a venue for Hammerskin events, but also for many other white supremacist events regionally. On April 23, the venue was used for an evening after-event for two white power rallies that took place earlier in the day: the National Socialist Movement rally in Rome, GA as well as a second white power event at Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta which met determined anti-racist resistance. (At the Georgia Peach the evening before, the ragtag “Aryan Nationalist Alliance” was formally established.) The Georgia Peach, which openly advertises itself as a Klan space, has also hosted many other Klan, neo-Nazi and Aryan Nations events over the years.

The Hammerskins have not publicly announced the Georgia Peach as the venue for Hammerfest this year, but it seems likely that the space will play some role in this year’s events.

Conclusion

A close look at the groups and figures involved with Hammerfest 2016 reveals more than just a white power underground using music to recruit and mobilize. It also highlights the long and violent history of those involved. The white supremacists meeting and coordinating on October 1st should be prevented from furthering expanding their power and capacity for violence. Especially in the context of a newly-energized white power movement, the Hammerskins and similar groups ought to be practically opposed wherever they operate. While their numbers are small, those gathering in Georgia are some of the hardcore “true believers” of the white power movement; they should not be written off as harmless and irrelevant.

We believe that the weekend of October 1-2 is an ideal opportunity for action against white supremacist groups such as the Hammerskins or Traditionalist Worker Party nationally. If you live in a city where such a group exists, consider organizing during this time to expose their efforts. Commit to building anti-racist/anti-fascist infrastructure for the struggles ahead. Also, please circulate this story to those who may be affected by the upcoming white power gathering.

As Hammerfest approaches, Atlanta Antifascist Notes will be one source for updates and reporting. For briefer time-sensitive updates, keep your eyes on twitter.com/afainatl

All Out Against Nazis & Klan at Stone Mountain, GA – April 23rd

Update 4/24/2016: More will eventually be published here about the white supremacist events of April 23 that took place in Stone Mountain, Rome, and Draketown/Temple, GA. There’s also plenty to say about yesterday’s anti-racist resistance at Stone Mountain. Briefly: things went very badly for the racist “Rock Stone Mountain” event, which was met with determined opposition (see coverage here.) Follow this link for a statement from the All Out ATL mobilization about the anti-racist action at Stone Mountain Park (number for anti-racists seems high).

april23fireStone Mountain Park, April 23rd

At the time of writing, all arrestees from Stone Mountain Park are out of jail, including one person now facing a felony charge. Funds are still needed for defense efforts, so consider making a solidarity contribution here.

 

The All Out ATL mobilization is calling for anti-racists to gather 9AM, Saturday April 23rd at the corner of Main & E. Mountain St. in the community of Stone Mountain, GA to oppose the “Rock Stone Mountain” white supremacist gathering.

noklanposter_smallAll Out ATL poster with meeting point for Saturday April 23 – .pdf for printing here.

All out Against the KKK from All Out Atlanta on Vimeo.

For all posts about “Rock Stone Mountain” on Atlanta Antifascist Notes, see here.

National Socialist Movement and “Rock Stone Mountain” Combine Post-Rally Evening Events, Georgia April 23rd

White Supremacist Gatherings on April 23rd Combine Evening Events

Two white supremacist gatherings scheduled for April 23 in Georgia–the “Rock Stone Mountain” event at Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta, plus the National Socialist Movement-hosted rally in Rome, Georgia–have now combined their evening events. This new arrangement has been confirmed by National Socialist Movement (NSM) statements to the press and also by Rock Stone Mountain main organizer John Michael Estes when he appeared on an NSM internet radio broadcast.

The daytime white power events in Georgia are still separate, although the Rome GA rally by the NSM, Loyal White Knights of the KKK, plus allies will begin marching slightly later to facilitate participation by white supremacists making the two-hour drive from the “Rock Stone Mountain” event which is scheduled to begin at 11AM. (The NSM rally in Rome is still billed to start at 3PM, although organizers now say that marching may begin anywhere from 3:30 to 4PM to facilitate arrivals from the Stone Mountain event.) After the NSM rally in Rome, the combined racist forces then plan to drive 45 minutes south to the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Draketown (near Temple) GA for an evening event of racist music plus a cross- and swastika-lighting.

NSM April 23 2016 after-event latest flyerRevised flyer for April 23 evening event

Earlier on the 23rd, the white supremacists of “Rock Stone Mountain” still plan to march to the top of Stone Mountain outside of Atlanta, although they will be confronted with a large showing of anti-racists determined to shut them down. Initially, Rock Stone Mountain had planned a separate evening event, but the Rock Stone Mountain organizers lost their first evening venue in early March.

The merger of the of the two evening events took place following negotiations between NSM and Rock Stone Mountain organizers. The result is that some musical acts planned for the Rock Stone Mountain evening event will now be performing at the Georgia Peach in Draketown/Temple GA, which the NSM had initially booked for their post-Rome after-party. (The NSM provides a location of “Temple, Georgia” for their National Meeting on Friday, April 22nd, suggesting that they will be using the Georgia Peach then as well.)

The combined evening events indicate that “Rock Stone Mountain” is no longer making even slight efforts to disguise its white supremacist agenda or its connections to neo-Nazism. Despite “Rock Stone Mountain” having referenced the white supremacist terror group The Order in earlier outreach materials, rally organizers had also asked that “participants not bring flags or banners representing any foreign nation or power, historical or current, to the rally.” In other words, while they encouraged Confederate flags they didn’t want Nazi Germany ones. It now seems that “Rock Stone Mountain” organizers have lost their last few scruples about how they are perceived, since they are openly cooperating with one of the nation’s largest neo-Nazi groups.

When Rock Stone Mountain activist John Michael Estes appeared on a recent NSM-hosted internet radio show to discuss the merged evening events, he revealed details about Rock Stone Mountain internal organizing, the band line-up for evening of the 23rd, and his own political background. The NSM broadcast began by celebrating the emerging white power coalition for the 23rd, with organizers boasting that they had “unite[d] many, many […] organizations.”

John Estes discussed support for the Rock Stone Mountain racist rally, claiming that: “We’ve even gotten support from the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which would have been unheard of just a few years ago.” An NSM show host claimed that leaders from the racist/secessionist League of the South were also expected at the Rock Stone Mountain rally.

Not all of Rock Stone Mountain’s efforts appear to have gone smoothly, however. John Michael Estes announced:

[Long-time white supremacist leader] Billy Roper will not be a part of Rock Stone Mountain. He dropped out months ago and he’s not one of the planners. He’s not contributing anymore.”

Estes downplays Roper’s significant involvement in early Rock Stone Mountain planning. Whatever conflict may have occurred between Roper and other organizers, Rock Stone Mountain is still promoted on the website for Divine Truth Ministries, the white supremacist “Christian Identity” outfit which Roper co-founded towards the end of last year.

During his interview, Estes also discussed the current band line-up for the evening of the 23rd:

“One of these bands is ‘Southern Secession.’ They’re playing under that name for this event, but they are basically going to be a Johnny Rebel tribute band […] Also Tracy Cantley will be coming to play his outlaw country. There’s another band that is supposed to be coming, but we’re having some guitarist problems right now, trying to get those sorted out.”

In the current interview, Estes does not mention the notorious racist rock group Definite Hate, who had earlier been advertised as participating in Rock Stone Mountain.

John Michael Estes: Background and Worldview

john michael estes from FB dl 4 15 2016Rock Stone Mountain primary organizer John Michael Estes

Estes’ interview on the NSM broadcast also disclosed his own background and worldview. Estes talked about his radicalization as a white supremacist, stating that he ordered books from the Aryan Nations while he was in prison. Since that time, Estes claims:

“I’ve been involved with National Socialism, I’ve been involved with Odinism, I went through the Christian Identity phase at one time. I’m about my race–race first and the 14 Words.”

Christian Identity is a racist religion which claims that whites are God’s true chosen people, that Jews are imposters of Satanic descent, and that people of color are less than fully human. The website of Covenant People’s Ministry–a Christian Identity operation in Brooks, GA—states that it “began […] 1996 and was founded by two Christian identity believers — John Michael Estes and Jeromy John Visser.”

The “14 Words” referenced by Estes is a white power slogan authored by David Lane, a now-deceased member of The Order/Brüder Schweigen terror group. (The 14-word slogan is: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”) The Order raised funds for the white power movement via counterfeiting and a series of armed robberies; it bombed an adult theatre and a synagogue; and the group murdered Jewish talk-show host Alan Berg. David Lane was convicted for violating Berg’s civil rights for his participation in the assassination.

rock stone mountain RJM image from Twitter Dec 8 2015“Rock Stone Mountain” promotional image featuring Robert Jay Matthews (pointing finger)

As revealed in the NSM internet radio interview, John Michael Estes showed his devotion to The Order’s legacy earlier this year, when Estes made a “pilgrimage” (his own words) to Whidbey Island in Washington State. Whidbey Island was where Order leader Robert Jay Mathews died in a firefight with federal authorities in December 1984.

Estes doubtless sees himself as leading his forces into battle on April 23rd for the same white power cause as Matthews believed in.

It is time to confront the white power alliance Estes and other white supremacists have pulled together, before this alliance grows any further. For information on anti-racist opposition at Stone Mountain on April 23rd, visit All Out ATL.

Augustus Invictus and the National Socialist Movement

Last month, Florida lawyer and candidate for US Senate Augustus Sol Invictus announced that he would speak at the National Socialist Movement (NSM) national meeting and rally in Georgia, April 22nd to 23rd.  Invictus accepted the offer to speak at the NSM’s neo-Nazi gathering at a time when Invictus was receiving increasing scrutiny and opposition for his fascist politics plus his assistance to far-Right groups such as the American Front.

Now, every mention of Invictus and scheduled appearance at the upcoming NSM rally has been scrubbed from the NSM website. At the time of writing, it is unknown whether Invictus still plans to speak at this gathering. The NSM’s announcement about Invictus’ appearance remains archived here. The American Third Party Report website still contains Invictus’ own statement about his decision to participate in the neo-Nazi event (much earlier, this statement vanished from the “Invictus for Senate” Facebook page where it first appeared.)

Invictus’ writing about why he wished to speak to the assorted neo-Nazis and Klansmen scheduled to rally in Rome GA on April 23rd insisted that “I am not endorsing the National Socialist Movement.” Rather, Invictus claimed that he wished to fight alongside the NSM in a coalition “of Libertarians, patriots, and nationalists against a common enemy.” Invictus added that “I have Hispanic children […] I date bisexual women exclusively […] any one of which would bar me from membership in the NSM.”

A new discovery suggests that Invictus’ framing of the issues in his statement may have been misleading.

In 2012, leaked membership lists of the National Socialist Movement were published online by the One People’s Project website. The name “Augustus Invictus” is listed as a member of the NSM in a September 2009 entry, with an address in Chicago IL accompanying the entry.

augustus invictus 2009 NSM membership listAugustus Invictus in leaked NSM membership list

In 2009, Invictus was indeed living in Chicago, where he was studying at DePaul University College of Law. Someone who knew Invictus as a law student described him as having a “fascination with Nazism” during this period. Such fascination would be consistent with NSM membership. The Chicago address is for an apartment complex, where mail would likely be addressed to recipients’ legal names. The DePaul College of Law is approximately half an hour by public transport from this apartment building (with the main DePaul campus being just half an hour away by foot.) Mistaken identity is highly unlikely, simply because Augustus Invictus is such an uncommon name.

So: it appears that Invictus’ invitation to the Georgia NSM event may have had precedent in his earlier membership of the neo-Nazi party. If so, Invictus has been less than fully honest about this past. Invictus’ overall fascistic politics, however, were clear well before this latest discovery.

If you have further information about Invictus’ time in the NSM, or about current white supremacist activity in Georgia, do not hesitate to get in contact.