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.

UPDATES: Anti-Racists Mobilize Against “Rock Stone Mountain” White Power Event, April 23rd /// Neo-Nazi Rally in Rome, GA Same Day

Everyone Out Against the “Rock Stone Mountain” White Power Rally in Georgia, April 23rd!

An anti-racist mass mobilization against “Rock Stone Mountain”–the explicitly “white power” event planned for April 23rd at Stone Mountain, Georgia–is taking shape. As discussed elsewhere on this site, the Rock Stone Mountain rally is being organized by Klansmen, former members of the Aryan Nations, plus Billy Roper, the Arkansas white nationalist who used to chair White Revolution. Rock Stone Mountain is being promoted on major white supremacist websites such as Stormfront, as well as on blogs and Facebook. The racists plan “an openly White Power March up Stone Mountain that climaxes in a rally at the top. It is to be followed by a Pro White concert at a seperate [sic] location that evening.”

The white supremacist gathering will be resisted. Anti-racists are organizing a mass presence at Stone Mountain to shut down the white power rally and disrupt the racists’ plans. Following a series of discussions between anti-racists, a website has now been established for the anti-Klan mobilization. Check out All Out Atlanta’s website here for more information and to see the principles guiding our organizing. The site will be regularly updated with news and outreach materials. If you’re on Twitter, be sure to also follow us here.

all out atl siteThe website for All Out Atlanta is now online, see here.

It is time to commit to making the anti-racist mobilization a success. All Out Atlanta is not organized as a handful of leaders telling a mass of followers what to do. We want a strong and multifaceted response to the Klan and neo-Nazis. This cannot be done unless large numbers make this effort their own. Get in contact and get involved!

Some initial things you can do:

  • Spread the word! Outreach is essential at this time. Please share information about the anti-racist organizing that is underway with your friends, co-workers, community group, and so on.
  • If you are a member of an organization, consider endorsing this mobilization by contacting All Out Atlanta.
  • Host an educational event or a fundraiser in your community.
  • If you’re out-of-state, now is the time to make travel plans! If you are too far away to travel to Stone Mountain/the greater Atlanta area, consider an event in your own community to challenge white supremacy and racist organizing.

(Note: All Out Atlanta is distinct from the neo-Confederate protest against “Rock Stone Mountain” that has been covered by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The broader neo-Confederate movement played a key role in setting the stage for the April 23rd white power event at Stone Mountain. Atlanta Antifascist Notes believes that it is disingenuous for the neo-Confederates to now oppose the blatantly white power event, claiming that it makes their cause look bad.)

National Socialist Movement to Rally in Rome, Georgia April 23rd

Another white power event is also now on our radar.

The National Socialist Movement (NSM), one of the nation’s largest neo-Nazi organizations, has announced that it will hold a rally in Rome, Georgia on April 23rd–the same day as “Rock Stone Mountain.” The NSM rally is being endorsed by the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations activists, Aryan Strikeforce, and a handful other organizations. Rome, GA is approximately two hours away from Stone Mountain (slightly less from Atlanta).

The NSM’s initial release for the rally in Rome stated that the event would coincide with the organization’s “annual National Meeting in Georgia this year.” NSM members from across the country are expected to congregate in Rome. NSM leader Jeff Schoep initially gave the dates of “April 22nd and 23rd” for the NSM event on Twitter, which suggests that some NSM members may be arriving in the city before the 23rd.

schoep on Rome rally

Some readers may be confused why Klan members and Aryan Nations militants are involved in two different white power events in the same state on the same day. A full explanation cannot be provided here, since we do not yet have all the facts. However it is important to note that different Klan groups seem to be endorsing different white power events–the Loyal White Knights are attending the NSM rally in Rome, while members of the International Keystone Knights are involved with planning “Rock Stone Mountain.” Further, while past affiliates of the Aryan Nations are involved with both events, this illustrates the highly fragmented nature of the Aryan Nations right now, in particular after Morris Gullet–one of the more prominent Aryan Nations leaders of recent years–completely shut down his operation last year. Aryan Nations holdouts had a “World Congress” on December 13, 2015 at the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Draketown (near Temple) GA that was attended by both NSM and Loyal White Knights representatives. The Aryan Nations/NSM coordination in December seems to have fed into the broader NSM plans for Rome.

It is also worth noting the differences in style between the two events. “Rock Stone Mountain” invites neo-Nazi rock bands to play in the evening; it uses an image of white supremacist terrorist Robert J. Matthews in promotional materials; and it involves notorious neo-Nazi Billy Roper in its organizing. However, the Rock Stone Mountain organizers for some reason do not want their attendees to bring Nazi flags on April 23rd, writing on the Rock Stone Mountain community page on Facebook: “Those who wish to bring ANY version of the Confederate battle flag or any of the Confederate national flags to this event are encouraged to do so. However, we respectfully ask that participants not bring flags or banners representing any foreign nation or power, historical or current, to the rally.”

By contrast, the National Socialist Movement fetishizes Third Reich imagery and the swastika. It is not a coincidence that their rally in Rome will take place on the weekend after Hitler’s birthday (April 20). It is likely that the different events on the same day do not reflect some sort of neo-Nazi grand strategy as much as they are the consequence of tensions between white power organizations and individuals, who have different ideas about how to organize and what’s important.

The National Socialist Movement has already released a flier for their post-rally evening event–they will be travelling to Draketown (near Temple) GA for an “after party” featuring a cross lighting and a live band. The NSM are giving the location for this event as the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar, a business which openly advertises itself as a “Klan bar” and frequently hosts neo-Nazi events (such as the Aryan Nations “congress” of December 13, 2015, and major gatherings of the neo-Nazi “Hammerskin Nation” in the past).

NSM rome flier

NSM event: rally in Rome, GA and evening event in Draketown/Temple, GA

It is presently unknown whether the “Rock Stone Mountain” organizers will attempt to combine their evening event with the NSM one, or whether there will be a separate white power concert for “Rock Stone Mountain” attendees.

Information Wanted

With all this going on, it is more important than ever for anti-racists and anti-fascists to be watchful about local far-Right organizing. If you have information on white supremacist organizing in Georgia (especially but certainly not limited to Metro Atlanta) please contact Atlanta Antifascist Notes. Leads about the April 23rd white power events can also be sent to All Out Atlanta. Information will be double-checked and then put to good use.

White Power Rally and Racist Rock Show Planned for April 23 2016: Stone Mountain, GA and Atlanta Region

Summary: Neo-Nazis and Klansmen are planning a rally on April 23, 2016 at Stone Mountain, Georgia, as well as a racist rock show at a venue elsewhere that evening. Anti-racists will organize against these white power events. Please spread the word. We must resist this show of force by militant white supremacists.

The Upcoming “Rock Stone Mountain” Event

White supremacists are busy organizing an “openly White Power March up Stone Mountain” plus a “White Power concert at a separate location that evening” in Georgia. The march and concert are scheduled for April 23, 2016. It is being promoted on Facebook, Twitter, and on white supremacist websites such as Stormfront. Figures such as former White Revolution chairman Billy Roper in Arkansas are assisting with publicity. The event’s Facebook attendee list includes ex-members of the Aryan Nations and current Ku Klux Klan activists. The post-rally concert will feature rock acts catering to a bonehead (racist “skinhead”) audience. The “Rock Stone Mountain” Facebook page mentions that one or more bands could be supplied by the international Blood & Honour neo-Nazi network.

FB event headerRock Stone Mountain event page on Facebook

discussion of bands for showDiscussion of bands for the white power concert

Background

The upcoming April 2016 event follows in the wake of a “Defend Stone Mountain” rally held on November 14, 2015. The November rally billed itself as a Southern “heritage” protest against a proposal to add a monument in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Stone Mountain site. (The debate regarding Stone Mountain has since shifted, see this story for details.)

Confederate displays on public property have increasingly been criticized and opposed after Dylann Storm Roof’s massacre of nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC earlier this year. In response to the outcry about symbols of the Confederacy on public property, Confederate flag/monument supporters have stepped up their own organizing, including an August 1st Confederate flag rally at Stone Mountain that attracted hundreds.

Explicit white supremacists and Klansmen organized and promoted the later November 14 Stone Mountain protest, which was also backed by neo-Confederate organizations. Whereas Atlanta Magazine misleadingly claimed that “No KKK members or white supremacists made their attendance known” at the November 14 protest, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has fully documented the Klan and white supremacist presence on that day. The AJC also notes that Stone Mountain officials knew that members of the International Keystone Knights of the KKK were involved in organizing the event.

klan ring on display nov 14 2015 stone mountain eventNovember 14 2015 Stone Mountain rally: a protester displays his Klan “blood drop” ring

The November 14 protest emboldened Klan and neo-Nazi activists–the circles who are now putting together an openly white supremacist show of force at Stone Mountain. As the April 23 event page states: “It is time to stop apologizing […] If it were not for Our Race, that Flag [the Confederate flag] would not exist! They are going to call us ‘racist’ anyway, so wear it as a Badge of Honor […] Better to be called a Racist than a traitor!”

Stone Mountain is inexorably linked to Klan history—it is where the modern KKK was born one hundred years ago. The giant carving on the mountainside was begun by Klan member Gutzon Borglum, but the project ran out of funding before completion. (Only General Lee’s head was carved by Borglum.) Work on the monument was restarted by others decades later, once the State of Georgia purchased the site. Resumed work on the monument coincided with the State’s fierce efforts against the Civil Rights movement. The monument is a symbol of racial subjugation—it is no wonder why racists love the site, and why they are determined to fight for it.

While current Klan and neo-Nazi activists are tapping into an earlier white supremacist history, the plans for April 2016 also represent a more virulent form of racist politics than other recent events at Stone Mountain. Previously, Klansmen and their comrades still made concessions to fit in with the broader flag/monument protest crowd (which tried to portray itself in more moderate terms.) Now, flagrant white supremacists are confident enough to go it alone. Neo-Nazis and the Klan are completely controlling the agenda for the April 23rd events.

rock stone mountain following on twitterWho “Rock Stone Mountain” is following on Twitter. Note: “88” is alphanumeric code for “H.H.” or “Heil Hitler.”

Anti-Racists: Start Getting Ready…

The white supremacists who are organizing the April event will not go away if we ignore them. They are a real threat. Allowing blatant neo-Nazis to rally without opposition would pose at least two serious dangers. First, if allowed an easy victory white supremacists will further gain confidence, and this in turn will make violence against their perceived racial or political enemies more likely. Second, successful neo-Nazi and Klan organizing will allow others on the racist Right to portray themselves as “moderate” by comparison, which could help these other racist forces to progress towards the political mainstream. It is for these reasons and more that the April 23rd march and gathering must be resisted. Doing work against the far-Right is especially important at a time when militant racists harass and shoot protesters against police killings in Minneapolis, and when xenophobic and anti-Muslim incidents have spiked in the US.

On behalf of some anti-racists in Atlanta who have been discussing the upcoming white power event: organizing against the April 23rd rally and concert will begin in the not-too-distant future. We aim for a large and multifaceted response to white supremacist organizing. We are committed to doing our part in local anti-racist mobilizations.

First steps to be taken: most importantly, please circulate this news far and wide. Get in contact if you have information that may be useful in combating the Klan/neo-Nazi mobilization. Please be on the lookout for further updates, and start to talk with your circles about responses you would like to see happen. We urge anti-racists and anti-fascists to mark their calendars for the weekend of April 23-24, 2016. If you are an anti-racist living in the South—or even further afield—consider making a trip to Atlanta during this time. We promise you will not be bored.