STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — There were multiple arrests when “pro-white” demonstrators and anti-white supremacist protestors clashed at Stone Mountain Park in suburban Atlanta on Saturday.
The white supremacists, which numbered about two dozen but were outnumbered by the anti-hate counter-demonstrators, set up the rally to protest the momentum to remove the Confederate battle flag around the country ever since the bloodbath at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. in which deranged psychopath Dylann Roof murdered nine black parishioners execution style with a semi-automatic handgun.
The pro-white protesters were cloaked in T-shirts that were emblazoned with “White Lives Matter” and waving Confederate flags while paying tribute to the Confederate heroes whose images are carved into the side of the mountain.
The ninth arrested person was from the pro-white group that staged the rally at Stone Mountain Park; he apparently threw a smoke bomb at law enforcement officers, said John Bankhead, spokesman for the park’s Department of Public Safety, according to CNN.
According to the AJC, it was actually the police that outnumbered everyone in attendance as they wore riot gear and kept the opposing sides from getting near one another. One television station reported that the police did not want the rally to take place, but cannot legally stop the white supremacists groups from hosting these events.
By around 2 p.m., people from both sides began to leave the park, the latest site of the divisive battle over Confederate landmarks in the South.
Rock Stone Mountain — the name given to Saturday’s rally by organizers — was held two days before the observance of Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia, a paid day off for some state employees.
John Estes, an event organizer with the group Rock Stone Mountain, said Saturday’s rally was intended to focus on what he called attempts to erase Confederate history and the white race altogether. The large police presence and the park’s decision not to let them climb the mountain “cut down our numbers quite a bit,” he told WSBTV