hundrets of Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) group were attacked by civil rights activists at Stone Mountain Park in Georgia on Saturday Observation of Confederate Memorial Day.
Counter-protesters included members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Atlanta, Georgia, the Democratic Socialists of America and other local anti-fascists who objected to the rally.
Corresponding videos Uploaded to Twitter, counter-protesters gathered behind a fence and police line to protest the event. Their shouts were heard over the event’s keynote speaker, Martin O’Toole.
However, according to Channel 2 News in Atlanta, the event ended without any violent incident.
Stone Mountain Park, in the city of the same name, is a 3,000-acre attraction known for its rock carving carved with the figures of Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. Carving began in 1915 and was completed in 1972.
SCV, which bills itself as the “oldest hereditary organization for male descendants of Confederate soldiers,” was denied a permit for a Confederate Memorial Day rally last year by the Parks Association, citing a “clear and present danger” and COVID-19. 19
The park association granted the permit this year despite objections from several civil rights activists, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and a local group, the Stone Mountain Action Coalition.
The Stone Mountain Action Coalition had urged the park to deny the permit, citing the 2017 Unite the Right riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, which erupted into violence when counter-protesters clashed with far-right white nationalist groups.
“While the study and preservation of the Civil War is of great importance, a shrine to Confederate ideals with no historical connection to the Civil War is a clear and dangerous threat to our American democracy,” the organization wrote in a statement.
Lecia Brooks of the Southern Poverty Law Center criticized the planned rally last week.
“Allowing SCV to celebrate Confederacy values on public lands validates the rhetoric of SCV and its keynote speaker, which sends a dangerous message that Stone Mountain continues to be a safe place for white nationalists to congregate,” she said in a statement.
The Parks Association argued it could not refuse the permit because of speaking and assembly rights. However, according to Channel 2 News, they have closed several attractions in Stone Mountain to minimize the event.