One of the biggest neo-Nazi groups in the United States, the National Socialist Movement, held a white supremacist rally on April 21, 2018 in Newnan, Georgia. After the rally, in the evening, the group held a swastika burning in Draketown, an area around fifty miles from Newnan.
Clear and very disturbing images of the rally were caught on camera by a photographer for Getty Images, Spencer Platt. He shot photos of uniformed men and women holding up a large burning swastika as well as an othala rune, which is a pagan symbol that that been used in some parts of the Third Reich in Germany.
The swastika appeared to be between 12 to 18 feet in height, and could be clearly seen against the night sky. In the photos and on video, people are seen giving the Nazi salute in front of the swastika.
Around two dozen people attended the rally in Newnan, making it far smaller than the “Unite the Right” rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August, which ended in violence. A woman was killed when a man ran his car into a group of counter-protesters.
Many of Newnan’s citizens came out to stand up against the white supremacists in Newnan, and to stand up for racial unity in their community. The police also made their presence strongly felt for the purpose preventing violence by keeping the Neo-nazis and anti-racists apart. There were about 700 police in attendance.
One hundred anti-protesters showed up in Newnan’s streets. Members of antifa, the anti-fascist group, added to their ranks.
Police arrested ten of the counter-protesters, several of whom refused to remove their masks, which violates a state law from 1950 that was meant to stop the Ku Klux Klan.
Local officials as well as state legislators unanimously and individually issued condemnations of the rally even before it began.