Militarized Police Attack, Arrest Anti-Fascist Counter-protesters at Neo-Nazi Rally

Jeff Schoep, leading the NSM said he was “standing on behalf of white nationalism, white patriotism, and our history as American people.”

by TeleSur / The States

Law enforcement authorities in Newnan, Georgia, nearly 40 miles southwest of Atlanta, arrested 10 masked anti-fascist counter-protesters Saturday, who were protesting a small neo-nazi rally in the area, and refused to remove their masks when asked by the authorities.

Nearly 400 police officers monitored a gathering of some 50 anti-fascist protesters, many of whom may have belonged to the antifa groups, known for wearing masks to conceal their identity from the police and the neo-nazi groups.

A senior officer leading the arrests said the detained counter-protesters were violating a state law pertaining to the masks, which activists said might have been a rarely-enforced 1951 law originally aimed at combating hooded Ku Klux Klan members.

“The irony of enforcing masking laws to prosecute leftists is just incredible,” said Molly, a counterprotester from Charlottesville, Virginia, who traveled to Georgia to protest neo-Nazis. She asked that her last name not be published for fear of retribution. “Those are anti-Klan statutes.”

“And to be roughing up anti-Nazi protesters while handling literal Nazis with kid gloves… it’s absurd,” Molly added, according to Huffington Post.

The Newnan neo-nazi rally was organized by the National Socialist Movement, or NSM, an old-school neo-nazi group which explicitly purports Third Reich iconography, compared to slightly coded racist themes of the alt-right.

The authorities had granted a rally permit to the organizers of NSM for a demonstration to be held at Greenville State Park. The extensive police presence at the event is likely to cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars.

Jeff Schoep, leading the NSM, was heard talking about the Confederate statues, as he referred to himself and his companions as “Alpha males.” He also targeted men who “look like homosexuals” because of wearing skinny jeans, as he lashed out against the “Zionist media” for portraying NSM as a hate group.

In his speech, he also said he was “standing on behalf of white nationalism, white patriotism, and our history as American people,” New York Times reported.

Burt Colucci, a member of the National Socialist Movement, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution there was no particular reason Newnan was chosen for the rally. “We pick these rallies randomly,” he said. “It is always preferable that it is in a white town.”

This article was republished on Love and Rage in accordance with Creative Commons guidelines.

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