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.

Just Don’t Call It “White Power” – “Protect the South,” Wesley Sitton, and the Mainstreaming of White Supremacy

protect the south community FB

Introduction: White Power on Display at Stone Mountain, November 14, 2015

As the “Rock Stone Mountain” white power rally at Stone Mountain Park in Georgia approaches, now is a good time to again discuss this event’s immediate precursor, the November 14, 2015 rally at the same park. The November 14 event was one of a series of pro-Confederate flag/memorial rallies organized in the wake of Dylann Roof’s June 2015 massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. These rallies attempted to protect symbols of the Confederacy during a time of increased outcry about their public display. While earlier 2015 Confederate flag rallies also involved white nationalists, at the November 14 rally the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted a particularly “obvious” Ku Klux Klan presence. This Klan presence on November 14 is a consequence of who organized and promoted the event in the first place.

estes nov 14 2015Crowd at Stone Mountain on November 14, 2015 (current “Rock Stone Mountain” organizer John Michael Estes in center wearing shirt for far-Right and racist “Rock Against Communism” movement)

According to “Restoring the Honor” blog, “Southern Rebel Patriots”–AKA Georgia residents Jodi and Greg Calhoun–first made the call for the November 14th rally. Greg Calhoun was involved with an Aryan Nations faction before joining the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan; Calhoun is presently assisting with “Rock Stone Mountain.” A second Facebook page that promoted the November 14 rally was part of the “Stand by the Flag Rally” national mobilization–this particular “Stand by the Flag”page was controlled by the Rebel Outlaw Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (whose former Imperial Cleric more recently also spread the word about “Rock Stone Mountain” online.)

protect the south community FBProtect the South Facebook community

One of the biggest promoters for November 14 was “Protect the South”–this Facebook community established its own “Defend Stone Mountain” event page for the November 14 rally. The overall “Protect the South” Facebook page was launched in June 2015, while debate on Confederate symbols heated up. This page appealed to Confederate flag supporters and even pandered to that movement’s implicit racism, but the page avoided slogans known to drive numbers down, such as open cries of “white power.” In fact, the administrator of “Protect the South” would later argue that while he had no problem with “white power” talk in principle, the reality is that such slogans could make the Southern cause look bad while providing opportunities to opponents. The “Protect the South” administrator was criticized by other November 14 promoters and participants on account of this defensive stance.

What has not been mentioned in commentary so far is that the administrator for “Protect the South”–Wesley Sitton (AKA Adam Wesley Sitton) of Pembroke, Georgia–has a history as a neo-Nazi. While in recent years Sitton described himself as the head of a “True Republican Family,” Sitton’s new self-description isn’t about renouncing white supremacy, it is only about hiding it. Sitton’s strategy seems to be a perfect example of how people can organize for the goals of white power without even using the phrase “white power.” Indeed, Sitton’s abandonment of blatant neo-Nazism has created political opportunities for him. It has allowed Sitton to rally larger numbers of neo-Confederates and anti-immigrant forces, as well as to coordinate with the Georgia Security Force III% militia which nominally opposes racism. These advantages also come with a cost: Sitton’s tactical choice has angered militant racists who are invested in being explicit about their white supremacy.

Wesley Sitton’s White Supremacist History    

In 2005, someone using the handle “AryanBrother88” posted frequently on Stormfront, the world’s largest white power internet forum. (The “88” part of this pseudonym is alphanumeric code for “H.H.” or “Heil Hitler.”) By 2006, this forum user was using his own name, Wesley Sitton, and providing his actual location of Pembroke, Georgia. While the “AryanBrother88” and “Wesley Sitton” accounts on Stormfront were closed down, traces of Sitton’s writing on Stormfront remain wherever he was quoted by another user. During the time he was a Stormfront member, Sitton used his account to spread the news that Alabama white nationalist and Holocaust-denier Larry Darby had two half-Chinese children, making Darby a “race traitor” in the eyes of many Stormfront users.

wesley sittonWesley Sitton, recent photo

In addition to posting on Stormfront, Sitton was active with the National Socialist Movement, one of the larger neo-Nazi organizations in the US. A leaked membership list for the National Socialist Movement gives an address in Pembroke for Sitton, with the record dated November 2005.

(Not sure that this “Wesley Sitton” is the same Wesley Sitton who is the administrator for “Protect the South”? The birthday info for user “Wesley Sitton” on Stormfront matches Adam Wesley Sitton’s birthday. The street address provided on the NSM address list can be seen on an image in Sitton’s current Facebook timeline.)

While the National Socialist Movement is a Hitler-loving organization complete with military-style uniforms and swastika armbands, during 2006 Sitton also promoted white supremacy draped in the Red, White and Blue. Sitton’s website, “Taking a Stand,” proclaimed that it was “fighting to restore the American way” and featured American flags plus a Thomas Jefferson quote on its front page. Taking a closer look at the site, however, revealed articles such as “Jews, the Destruction of America!,” claims that the white race must “take control and power again in America” as well as calls for “the downfall of ZOG [Zionist Occupation Government, a white power term for alleged Jewish control of the US government].”

takingastandbannerTaking a Stand website banner

In 2007, Sitton launched a new website, one very different to the “Taking a Stand” website in visual terms. The “Save Our Race” website now used the swastika banner of Nazi Germany instead of the American flag. The “Save Our Race” website was for “Georgia’s [chapter of the] American National Socialist Workers Party” and declared:

On July 18, 2006, 21 former state and unit leaders of the National Socialist Movement, along with 96 comrades, declared a break from the National Socialist Movement. The result from this action was the creation of the American National Socialist Workers Party.

Sitton is listed on the site as the “Georgia Leader” for the new Party.

SaveOurRacebannerSave Our Race website banner

Sitton’s time as ANSWP leader must not have lasted long, however. “Save Our Race” disappeared from the web quickly. Chris Drake of Augusta became the new Georgia leader for the ANSWP, only for the ANSWP to collapse after its leader Bill White’s arrest by the FBI in October 2008. (If you want to know about White’s legal saga, just read his Wikipedia page.)

Let’s move forward several years. It would be nice to believe that Sitton had abandoned his extreme racism and far-Right worldview, but this does not appear to be the case. For example, in January 2015 Sitton was openly celebrating James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr.

wesley sitton james earl rayWesley Sitton would prefer to celebrate James Earl Ray day, apparently

Starting in mid-July 2015 after the Charleston massacre, Sitton began a flurry of activity on behalf of the Confederate flag and its cause. One of the first events promoted by Sitton’s newly-launched “Protect the South” page was a rally in Statesboro, Georgia which was part of a “Stand by the Flag” day of coordinated protests at Walmart parking lots due to Walmart’s decision not to sell Confederate flags. These protests were not just promoted on Facebook, but also on white nationalist sites such as that of the Council of Conservative Citizens (the organization whose materials had helped to radicalize Dylann Roof in the first place.)

Sitton has subsequently used “Protect the South” to promote several other Confederate rallies and events, including the November 14 Klan-organized event at Stone Mountain. Indeed, Sitton seems to have played a key role in persuading members of the (nominally non-racist) Georgia Security Force III% militia that the November 14 rally had nothing to do with the Klan and that the Klan would not be present.

gsf defend stone mountain eventGeorgia Security Force III% leader Chris Hill post to “Defend Stone Mountain” page

Meanwhile, Sitton was also active on another front. Following the November 13 terror attacks in Paris, Sitton circulated a petition online calling for a Georgia Governor Deal to stop any settlement of Syrian refugees (called “potential terrorists” by Sitton) in the state. Sitton’s petition rapidly gained thousands of signatures. On November 16, Governor Deal announced that he would not accept Syrian refugees in Georgia–Deal’s decision may have been partially influenced by the same sort of public pressure mobilized by Sitton.

Conclusion

Since abandoning the more explicit cries of “white power” and use of symbols such as the swastika, Wesley Sitton achieved some organizing successes: creating a Confederate flag Facebook page followed by thousands; organizing local militiamen to do security for a Klan-organized event even while persuading them that no Klan would be present; and finally helping to push through anti-immigrant measures in Georgia.

Sitton is still a racist who has worked with the neo-Nazi groups and other organized white supremacists. Sitton’s new discourse about “heritage, not hate” and “southern pride” are tactical preferences for him. Anti-racists must fight white supremacy in its most blatant forms–such as that of neo-Nazis–but we must also oppose forms of white power organizing in which the same message has been repackaged to appeal to broader numbers.

At present, Sitton is attempting to portray himself as an opponent of the Klansmen and neo-Nazi organizers who will show up for “Rock Stone Mountain” on April 23, even claiming that he will protest these forces. Given Sitton’s own history as a neo-Nazi; his continuing racist organizing; and his spreading of misinformation around the earlier November 14 event at Stone Mountain, Sitton’s current maneuvers should not fool anyone.

Protect The South Likes Rock Stone Mountain“Protect the South” likes the explicitly white power event “Rock Stone Mountain,” image courtesy of Restoring the Honor

Will Band Linked to Racist Massacre Perform for “Rock Stone Mountain” White Power Gathering, April 23 in Georgia?

Summary: On April 23rd, racist organizers are promising an evening concert following the “Rock Stone Mountain” rally in Georgia during the day. One of the musical acts advertised as playing this evening show is Definite Hate, a longstanding racist rock group. In 2012, one of Definite Hate’s guitarists, Wade Michael Page, murdered six people (and then killed himself) in an attack on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. Definite Hate remains affiliated with the violent Hammerskin Nation organization, and the band continues to call for bloodshed in its lyrics. The fact that “Rock Stone Mountain” planners are using this notorious act to draw a crowd to their event reveals the organizers’ violently racist political vision. It also makes clear why we must come together against such race war politics.

The Story So Far…

On April 23, 2016, two nationally-organized white supremacist gatherings are scheduled to take place in Georgia. The National Socialist Movement (NSM)–a blatantly neo-Nazi organization–has announced that it will hold a rally in Rome, GA on April 23. Also that day, another group of Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi militants will hold “Rock Stone Mountain,” an event which organizers have billed as a “White Power March up Stone Mountain.” (Stone Mountain Park is a short distance outside Atlanta; an earlier article discusses this site’s significance for neo-Confederates and ideological racists.) The NSM event in Rome was announced at the very beginning of this year, whereas “Rock Stone Mountain” has been promoted since November 2015–in fact, “Rock Stone Mountain” follows on from another Klan-organized rally at Stone Mountain Park that occurred mid-November.

The two separate white supremacist rallies slated for April 23–and the differing styles of the two groups of organizers–have been discussed elsewhere on this site. Both the NSM and the “Rock Stone Mountain” organizers claim to have evening entertainment lined up following their respective daytime rallies. The NSM has advertised an evening event taking place at the white power-friendly Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Draketown (near Temple) GA. The “Rock Stone Mountain” organizers are currently being more guarded about their evening plans, stating that their “after-event party/concert venue will not be released until the day of the event.” (If you have additional information about this event, please get in contact.)

At the time of writing, the anti-racist All Out ATL mobilization is preparing to confront and shut down the white supremacist march at Stone Mountain Park on April 23. Atlanta Antifascist Notes wholeheartedly endorses this mobilization and urges you to get involved. The importance of effective, large-scale opposition to white power organizing becomes even clearer when one examines the history of one of the rock bands announced as playing the “Rock Stone Mountain” after-event.

Definite Hate

On August 5, 2012 white supremacist Wade Michael Page entered the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, fatally shooting six people and wounding others before turning his gun on himself. At the time of this massacre, Page was a full member of the Hammerskin Nation, a long-running and violent bonehead (racist “skinhead”) organization which presently exists on several continents. It also was revealed that Page had a long history in the white power music scene, having played with such racist rock bands as Intimidation One, 13 Knots, Page’s own project named End Apathy, and finally Definite Hate.

wade michael pageWade Michael Page

Page was not a founding member of Definite Hate, a Hammerskin-affiliated act that is based in North Carolina. Page was not mentioned, for example, when Definite Hate’s early days were discussed in a 2001 article for GQ. However Page is credited (as “Wade”) on the second full album by Definite Hate, 2011’s “Madder Than Hell – Meaner Than Shit.” Prior to moving to Wisconsin, Page lived for half a year in North Carolina with Edward Brent Rackley, a Hammerskin and long-serving member of Definite Hate. (Rackley also played music with Page in the groups 13 Knots and End Apathy.)

As a group, Definite Hate has never attempted to put real distance between itself and the massacre by its former guitarist. Contacted in the immediate aftermath of Page’s murder rampage, the most Rackley could come up with was: “I’m not interested. This is him. I don’t care to be bothered anymore.” This attitude is hardly surprising from a member of an act whose lyrics include such endorsements of racist murder as: “riding through the city projects / creeping real slow in the dead of the night / a group of monkeys on the corner / with no idea that death’s in sight” (the song “Lock and Load” from the 2005 full-length “Welcome to the South.”)

edward brent rackleyDefinite Hate member and Hammerskin Edward Brent Rackley of North Carolina

The Hammerskin Nation as a whole was defiant following Page’s killing. For example, the Hammerskin-linked record label Antipathy Records offered a celebratory “WADEPAGE” sale soon after the Wisconsin murders.

The latest line-up for Definite Hate has in no way toned down its message or loyalties. In 2015, for example, Definite Hate played a show in California paying tribute to David Lane. Lane (1938-2007) was a participant in The Order/Brüder Schweigen white supremacist terror group during the 1980s. It has been alleged that Lane was the getaway driver when The Order assassinated Jewish talk radio host Alan Berg in 1984. While imprisoned for violating Berg’s civil rights and other charges, David Lane became something of a cult figure within the white supremacist movement, coining the “14 words” slogan–“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”–now ubiquitous in white racist circles. (“Rock Stone Mountain” promotional materials also reference David Lane’s “14 words.”)

definite hate david lane tribute 2015 californiaDefinite Hate playing David Lane memorial show, California 2015. Rackley playing guitar in background.

 Is Definite Hate on the Evening Bill for “Rock Stone Mountain”?

It is no secret that the organizers for Rock Stone Mountain love the music of Definite Hate. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigative report has already highlighted Rock Stone Mountain organizers circulated a Definite Hate song as part of their event outreach on Facebook.

There have also been other hints that Definite Hate will play the April 23rd event. A now-deleted fan page for Definite Hate on Facebook listed “Rock Stone Mountain” as one of the group’s “Upcoming events.”

google cache of definite hate FB deleted rock stone mountain upcoming dl 2 15 2016“Rock Stone Mountain” as an “Upcoming Event” on (now-deleted) Definite Hate fan page.

 On their own, the above two facts would simply lead to conjecture. However, one of the “Rock Stone Mountain” organizers is himself spreading the word that Definite Hate will provide evening entertainment on April 23rd. In December, “Liam O’Aghairle” (a pseudonym) announced on Facebook that Definite Hate would be “starting the rock lineup” for the Rock Stone Mountain evening concert. The same post identifies Tracy Cantley, a neo-Nazi who plays “rebel country music” as another act on the Rock Stone Mountain evening bill.

 Liam O'Aghairle FB image Dec 19 2015 dl 2 11 2016“Liam O‘Aghairle” discusses the Rock Stone Mountain show line-up.

“Liam O’Aghairle” is the same person as “Johnny Rebel” or “John E. Rebel” (also fake names) who was the Imperial Cleric of the Rebel Outlaw Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Arizona. (The Rebel Outlaw Knights of the KKK seem to have disbanded, although their website may still be found online–that site’s main image is the same as the profile picture for “Liam O’Aghairle” on Facebook.)  The Rebel Outlaw Knights were involved in promoting the November 14, 2015 rally at Stone Mountain that set the stage for Rock Stone Mountain. “O’Aghairle” is in contact with other key organizers for Rock Stone Mountain and would presumably not circulate information about the evening show without their consent. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also quoted a “John E. Rebel” in its coverage of the upcoming Stone Mountain rally, although that may be someone else using the same pseudonym.)

“Rock Stone Mountain”: Image and Reality

While the Definite Hate performance could potentially get canceled, it is clear that the Rock Stone Mountain organizers are trying to build attendance with the promise that this group will play. (“O’Aghairle” shared his note about the event line-up to the white nationalist American Freedom Party group on Facebook, a place where other Rock Stone Mountain promotional materials are posted almost daily.) The use of Definite Hate’s name and the promise that they will play the evening event points to a tension in the “Rock Stone Mountain” organizing. While Rock Stone Mountain is partly being organizing by Billy Roper, who has a long history as a neo-Nazi, the organizers are also encouraging Nazi flags not to be brought to Stone Mountain. Similarly, the event is being pulled together by Klansmen, many of whom will leave their Klan robes at home on the day of the 23rd. Finally, Rock Stone Mountain planners consistently claim that their cause is opposition to “white genocide” which they believe is underway as the demographics of the US change (this theory has some support on racist far-Right.) However the event organizers are also trying to draw a crowd with a musical act that sings about racist killings, and whose old guitarist enacted those same murderous politics just a few years ago.

The politics of the Rock Stone Mountain organizers must be seen clearly: they are the politics of race war and mass murder. Anyone who takes this as an exaggeration should pay attention when Greg Calhoun, a Georgia Klansman assisting with Rock Stone Mountain (and a key organizer for the November 14 rally of last year), writes about what white people should do.

Greg Calhoun on Liam O'Aghairle FB posted Jan 3 2016 dl 2 11 2016Discussion by Greg Calhoun on the Facebook page of “Liam O’Aghairle.”

Conclusion
The announcement that Definite Hate will play Rock Stone Mountain makes it clear that rally organizers are building bridges between those who celebrate racist violence, and those building capacity to enact it. It is crucial that those who call for violence against people of color, Jewish people, sexual minorities, and leftists be prevented from having their way. They must not be allowed to plot and recruit without any opposition. This is why a mass show of strength against the Klan and Nazis on April 23rd is so important. Read about the All Out ATL anti-racist mobilization on its website, tell your friends, and consider getting involved.