American civil unrest continued throughout the weekend as dozens of anti-fascist protesters held a rally in Georgia. Dozens of these neo-Nazi demonstrators massed together holding signs, chanting and carrying flags. Demonstrators wore all black, and some carried shields. The National Socialist Movement organized the event which in part is a celebration of Adolf Hitler’s birthday.
As the group gathered in Greenville Street Park, a counter-protest broke out. Onlookers loudly booed the anti-fascist demonstrators and wrote messages referring to love and peace in chalk around them. The neo-Nazi group had lead speakers who were giving speeches at the park. Their messages included notions about white power and taking the country back from illegal immigrants.
Last year, a similar face-off occurred in Charlottesville. One individual was killed during the clash, so police were quick to respond to the situation. Officers arrived equipped with riot gear. To prevent the two groups from clashing, the riot police formed a human shield between the protesters. Authorities reported around 700 law enforcement officers were present at the scene. They blocked off several streets and had the park surrounded with fencing. Everyone entering into the protest area was frisked for weapons.
Police arrested ten individuals, and all of them appear to be anti-fascist protesters. Many of these suspects were apprehended because they were wearing masks and refused to remove them. Police were clear that no masks were allowed during this event. Despite multiple arrests, police were thankful that thee were no injuries or property damage at this controlled event.