Georgia town braces for neo-Nazi rally to be held on Saturday
According to the local authorities, nearly 400 local, state and federal officers will be present at the venue in an effort to supervise the rally.
The town of Newnan in Georgia is bracing up for a major face-off between the region's neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups and anti-fascist communities. The groups are reportedly planning to hold rallies at the city's Greenville Street Park in the region's first such major rally since the deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia last year.
Reports state that the Greenville Street Park has been covered with new plastic barricades and chain link fencing in an attempt to avoid any untoward situation. Public workers, on Thursday, also sealed off a nearby parking lot and they added more barricades along the Greenville Street, according to The Newnan Times-Herald.
The preparation, in particular, has been made for a planned rally by the National Socialist Movement (NSM) on Saturday afternoon. The NSM is a white supremacist and neo-Nazi group which has obtained a permit to hold a demonstration at the park from 3 pm to 5 pm. Such neo-Nazi groups generally assimilate to mark Adolf Hitler's birthday, according to reports.
The NSM, in its permit, reportedly said that a turnout of 50 to 100 people is expected at the event.
The demonstrations will reportedly be preceded by protests from Antifa, an autonomous, self-styled anti-fascist militant group. The organization, on its website, stated that they will demonstrate between 1:30 pm and 3 pm.
Although both sides have said that violence will not be included in their demonstration, Antifa has asked its demonstrators to bring Sharpies to write down a "jail support number" on their arms, to seek help if they get arrested, reports state.
The organizers said: "A bail fund has been established, in case of arrests and repression against anti-racist protesters," organizers said.
Newnan assistant city manager Hasco Craver, in a statement, said that the city supports its individuals and groups' right of free speech, however, it is "taking very seriously multiple concerns regarding the safety of all persons and property."
According to the local authorities, nearly 400 local, state and federal officers will be present at the venue in an effort to supervise the rally and ensure it is carried out in peace.
The National Socialist Movement's spokesperson, Harry Hughes, said: "We don’t come to these events with the intention of starting any sort of violence whatsoever," according to USA Today.