The city of Stone Mountain is urging people to stay away from its Confederate monument on Saturday as far-right groups, militias and white supremacists plan an armed rally.
It’s believed anti-racism demonstrators plan to put on a counter-protest in the same spot and officials are advising locals to avoid the area this weekend.
‘Residents, business owners, and stakeholders may want to consider refraining from travel and other activities within the City that may heighten the risk of engagement with the demonstrators or with any other aspect of the demonstration,’ the city of Stone Mountain announced in a statement.
The letter signed by Mayor Patricia Wheeler and City Manager ChaQuias Miller-Thornton says to expect possible road closures and/or redirection of traffic but warns public safety plans for the anticipated event are fluid and are subject to change, as necessary, to protect the public.
The City of Stone Mountain is urging people to stay away from its Confederate monument in Georgia on Saturday. Protesters are pictured in June
Far-right groups, militias and white supremacists plan an armed rally in Stone Mountain Park. Pictured: Joseph Andrews, one of a small group with the Rock Stone Mountain rally, waves a confederate battle flag towards a mass of counter-protesters more than 100 yards away at Stone Mountain Park on April 23, 2016
The advisory came ‘in light of the recent information’ authorities had received about the intended demonstration of protesters slated to gather at Stone Mountain Park.
It’s where the Mountain has Confederate Memorial Carvings of Civil War generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, plus President Jefferson Davis.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that authorities have been monitoring talk online about the intended rally.
Arkansas-based white militia group Confederate States III%, wanted the spot for a demonstration ‘to defend and protect our history and Second Amendment rights.’
The nation’s biggest Confederate monument has been used as a meeting place by the Ku Klux Klan, a hate group that was formed by Confederate Army veterans and has a history of lynchings and terror against black people, held its rebirth ceremony atop mountain in 1915.
Confederate States III%’s July 27 request was turned down after a ‘white power’ rally in 2016 ended with counter-protestors clashing with police.
‘Residents, business owners, and stakeholders may want to consider refraining from travel and other activities within the City that may heighten the risk of engagement with the demonstrators or with any other aspect of the demonstration,’ the City of Stone Mountain announced in a statement on Friday
A large group of Black Panther Party members descended onto Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial in Georgia on July 4 after the monument reopened
Members of the Black Panther Party (pictured) arrived in Stone Mountain Park on July 4 as officials reopened the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial – a site commonly used by white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan
‘This event demonstrated a material disruption of the park and its operations,’ The Stone Mountain Memorial Association CEO Bill Stephens wrote in the denial letter.
Last year the park also denied a rally-hosting request.
Confederate States III% leader Rodney Huffman said he plans ‘to bring Patriots from across our nation together and unite them as one and represent the silent majority,’ the AJC reports.
‘We believe that if someone doesn’t take a stand, our country as we know it will cease to exist, so we intend to be that someone,’ Huffman said.
The group has continued to post on Facebook about the rally and Huffman predicts ‘a 1,000 man march.’
Chris Hill, a former Marine and leader of the Georgia Security Force III%, has said in a video posted online that it will be a showdown between patriots and the forces of ‘antifa.’
Confederate States III% has also shared posts mocking Black militia Not F**king Around Coalition (NFAC).
Last month 300 people marched through the park with NFAC, calling for the Louisville, Kentucky cops involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor to be arrested.
Their names are Joshua Jaynes, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, and Jonathan Mattingly.
NFAC gathered at Stone Mountain on July 4 after the park, which was closed due to the pandemic, announced it was reopening just in time for the holiday.
It was also amid the unanticipated protests across the country sparked by America’s emotional reaction to the May 25 killing of George Floyd. About 50 counter-protesters showed up but it wasn’t a troublesome event.
The Black Panthers have long demanded the removal of the monument which is longer than a 100-yard American football field and looms 400 feet above ground.
The political group was initially founded to monitor the behavior of Oakland Police Department officers, who were accused of police brutality, with armed civilian patrols called ‘copwatching.’
More than 50 years later, the current protests over police brutality have picked up where they left off.
‘Please know that, to the highest extent possible, planning is being conducted for the safety of the public, for the protection of life and property, and to minimize the impact of the demonstration on Stone Mountain Village,’ the Friday announcement from the City read.