Law enforcement in Newnan is preparing for members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) who have obtained a permit for a protest rally at Greenville Street Park in Newnan on April 21. Also expected to attend are members of the Valdosta Antifa organization.
Newnan Deputy Police Chief Mark Cooper said the department is aware that the Detroit-based National Socialist Movement has filed for and received a permit at Greenville Street Park on April 21 from 3-5 p.m. Officers are aware of the proposed protest and are engaged in preparations for the event and traffic concerns, Cooper said.
“We are working with other local, state and federal agencies in an effort to ensure the safety of all those involved. Our strategies are planned to reduce the chance of physical altercations and minimize the risk of personal injury or property damage,” said Cooper.
Cooper added that, “Our goal is to protect the First Amendment rights of all citizens and visitors to the City of Newnan.”
“The City of Newnan, the Newnan Police Department and other agencies involved do not support any one political view or group. Rather, we support the Constitution of The United States of America, the rights of our citizens and visitors and are sworn to protect the lawful expression of those rights,” said city spokesperson Gina Snider.
Snider said traffic detours and road closures will be in place the day of the event and a joined contingency of local, state and federal agencies will be in place to help keep the peace between groups that may have opposing views of political issues.
Valdosta Antifa on its Facebook page said it will be sending members to Newnan.
“We strongly oppose (NSM) disrupting the peace of a quiet Georgia town. Valdosta Antifa will be sending a few people to document the hate group. We’ve been tracking the group since 2012 exposing members to their employers and community. We expect this to be non-violent and peaceful.”
Atlanta Antifa on its Facebook page maintains that the NSM rally “will attract regional and local support from other the groups such as League of the South, Aryan Nations, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, among others.”
Cooper requested that all people that are not directly involved in the event to avoid the area and understand the traffic and crowd control measures we put in place are designed with everyone’s safety in mind.
The NSM protest coincides with the NSM Georgia National Meeting to be held April 21 and 22 in Temple, near Villa Rica.