Armed Black militia group NFAC marches at KKK stronghold Stone Mountain, supporters say they're 'in tears'
The group, known as Not F**king Around Coalition (NFAC), demanding the removal of carvings of Confederate figures on the side of the mountain, where KKK was reborn in 1915
Hundreds of protesters dressed in black armed with assault rifles marched towards Stone Mountain, Georgia, demanding the carving of Confederate figures on the side of the mountain be removed in light of recent events. Those figures include Robert E Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Thomas J “Stonewall” Jackson. Although some found the sight to be alarming, Stone Mountain Park Police told media they had no issues with the gathering.
The park had just recently opened after being closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic as such there not many people gathered this weekend. However, on July 4 afternoon, more than 100 people showed up protesting the monument, which is one of the largest in the country. The protesters were heavily armed but workers with the Park's Public Safety Division said they had no issues with the group coming in to exercise their right to free speech. Shortly after 2 pm local time, the armed protesters were allowed to enter the park from the West Gate. They then headed to the lawn area of the park from where the monument can be viewed.
The group then went to Memorial Hall, spoke and then left with an escort by the park police. Both north and west entrances to the park were closed and no one else was allowed to enter during the demonstrations. Those in the park were allowed to hike and walk but no attractions were open.
The mountain is also a notorious meeting place for the Ku Klux Klan, which was “reborn” atop it. The KKK was brought back to life on that mountain with a burning cross in 1915 -- advocates of the Confederate carvings were card-carrying members of the hate group. After the mountain was complete, a "neo-Confederate theme park" emerged around the area, including a plantation house, and a 'Gone With the Wind' museum, according to the Atlanta History Center. Since then, KKK members have gathered annually at Stone Mountain to hold rallies, according to The New York Times.
Many took to social media to respond to the presence of the militia group that called themselves the Not F**king Around Coalition (NFAC). While some applauded the NFAC for its move, others decried the presence of so many weapons. A visitor to the park on Independence Day wrote, "To be able to see this happen at Stone Mountain — a monument built to honor the confederacy — on the 4th of July was extremely powerful." Another opined, "It could be just because I'm Canadian, but the thought of a group that size marching and being armed to the teeth does not scream 'protest', that screams 'war'."
"The largest armed Black crowd I’ve ever seen in my life just crossed the front of my house in Stone Mountain. Bigger than any Black Panther engagement I’ve ever encountered #July4th2020," read a tweet while another said, "Trump’s race war appears to be on the verge of starting at Stone Mountain, Georgia, where Black Militia are peacefully protesting with assault rifles. I don’t remember this happening under Obama."
A user tweeted, "I honestly haven't seen anything this beautiful before, I am in tears right now. I hope they show those confederates exactly how serious they are about this bulls**t." Another questioned, "This happening at Stone Mountain on the 4th of July is pretty amazing! Now I expect the NRA to fully support this. They will, right? #BlackLivesMatter." A user pointed out, "MAGA all freaking out there were armed Black protesters at Stone Mountain. It's their 2nd Amendment right... Remember?"
A user tweeted, "I don’t know enough about the NFAC to comment, but the same people that stormed state capitols with AR-15s are FREAKING OUT because Black people are marching through Stone Mountain with guns .. mmmhhh."