A permit has been issued to the National Socialist Movement to allow the organization to hold a rally on April 21 in Greenville Street Park in Newnan, Georgia. Despite an assurance by Harry Hughes, National Socialist Movement spokesman, that they “don’t come to these events with the intention of starting any sort of violence what so ever,” there are many people that are concerned about the rally and its overall message.
Rep. Drew Ferguson (R, GA-3): “Every citizen has the constitutional right to express their First Amendment freedoms to free speech and protest, but the racist views of neo-Nazis are completely abhorrent. I commend Mayor Brady for his work to ensure a peaceful event and urge the entire Newnan community to stand together to show that there is no place for hate or intolerance in Georgia’s Third District.”
Deputy police Chief Mark Cooper: “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.” (Source)
Rachel Cox, a high school student in the area, has started a change.org petition that states in part: “The National Socialist Movement is a neo-nazi organization. By allowing their rally in Newnan, the city is showing complacency in the bigotry and hate crimes committed by white supremacists. Newnan should be a welcoming place for all races of people. We live in a society already plagued by social injustices, terrorism, and hatred. Why allow that in our city? Why accept that sort of behavior?”