By James Sweet III | Georgia
In the metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia lies the city of Newnan. The city has no major influence in politics and social issues, but it was used as a site for the hit TV show, The Walking Dead. On April 21st, however, things may change for the worst, as white nationalists and national socialists prepare to hold a rally in the city.
The National Socialist Movement, a political party that aligns itself with Neo-Nazism and is self-proclaimed as the largest one of its kind, is the organization responsible for the planning of this rally, and their chairman, Jeff Schoep, made an agreement with the City of Newnan for a $50 pavilion to be rented on April 21st.
The far-right organization plans on meeting from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M., although it is possible that could change if something breaks out. Other events will be occurring in the city on that day, like the “Champion For Children” Superhero 5K.
A local resident, who wished to stay anonymous, commented on the situation.
Our town is a beautiful place and I’ve never noticed any type of racial or political issues at all. There’s no reason for this march to be held here. The local newspaper, “The Newnan Times Herald” is covering this as well as one in Atlanta, so far… 11 Alive (NBC). I’m simply shocked and saddened this would happen here.
Local business owners in the area are planning on shutting down their operations for the day. The local police department contacted many business owners to assure them that proper security would be provided.
According to The Newnan Times-Herald, Chief of Police D.L. “Buster” Meadows and his fellow officers are “preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.” Around two dozen different agencies are coordinating with the Newnan Police Department in preparation for this event.
Local groups of ANTIFA are planning on counter-protesting the event. Chief Meadows and his department seem to be prepared for this, with water barricades being provided. They hope to control the events on that day and keep them confined to the Greenville Street Park region of the city, in an attempt to stop the rally and counter-protests from devouring the city.
The costs of the rally on the city are unknown. Some may wonder if this would a repetition of the Charlottesville events, but Chairman Schoep plans on around 50-100 people attending the rally, which is smaller than the number of people that attended the Charlottesville rally.
A petition has been made by local residents to prevent the rally, which can be found here.