Press Releases

November 4, 2019: The United Daughters of the Confederacy Celebrate 125 Years of Racist Lies in Atlanta

Atlanta, GA – Nov. 4, 2019 – The F.L.O.W.E.R. (Front Line Organizations Working to End Racism) Coalition is holding a week of action to protest against the 126th General Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), which is being held at the Atlanta Century Center Marriott from November 7-11. We encourage everyone to learn more about the true history of the UDC at our website and join us in these actions. In its early years, the UDC worked hand in hand with the KKK and promoted the “Lost Cause”, a propaganda narrative that sanitizes slavery and erases the history of Black people. The UDC are responsible for roughly 450 out of the more than 700 monuments to slavery littering the landscape of the South.

In 2017, a UDC statue of Robert E. Lee sparked the deadly Unite the Right rallies in Charlottesville, and the resulting negative attention forced the UDC to release a statement against white supremacy. Their actions since that statement have been nothing but hypocritical. For example, a UDC statue in Pittsboro, North Carolina is currently the focal point of armed, violent white supremacist protests, and the UDC and SCV have sued the county to prevent statue removal, inflaming an already dangerous situation. In Franklin, Tennessee, another UDC lawsuit prevents the town from removing their Confederate statue and even tries to prohibit any new monument placements honoring the Black history of the region.

If the UDC is sincere in wanting to atone for their 125 years of racist propaganda, they should immediately cease their noxious lawsuits, stop accepting public money for monument maintenance, sell their assets and place the money in a trust to be disbursed by Black-led civic groups, and dissolve themselves. Until this happens, they will be met with implacable resistance and condemnation from all antiracist Southerners. We also condemn Marriott International’s decision to support the UDC and call on them to release a comprehensive policy barring racist meetings on their properties.

Our week of action will culminate in a protest on Saturday, November 9th, 1PM. Endorsing groups are:

Grandmothers for Peace (Atlanta)
Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America
NAACP Atlanta
All Out Atlanta
Atlanta Abolition
The Atlanta Straight Edge
Atlanta Anarchist Black Cross
One People’s Project
Food Not Bombs Atlanta
ANSWER Coalition Atlanta
FC Sankt Pauli
Socialist Coalition of North Georgia

Speakers will include Richard Rose, President of the NAACP, and Brandyn Buchanan, Membership Secretary of Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America. Visit the website or Facebook event for further details.

January 30, 2019: Anti-Klan Coalition Announces An All-Day Action Saturday Feb. 2nd

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga.Jan. 30, 2019 – The FLOWER (FrontLine Organizations Working to End Racism) Coalition is announcing a meeting place and time for protesters ready to counter the Klan on February 2nd. Protesters will converge at 9AM in downtown Stone Mountain at the corner of E. Mountain Street and Main Street. From that point, guidance will be given on how to enter Stone Mountain Park. All protesters are encouraged to carpool or ride share. If parking, please park at least a quarter of a mile away from the meeting place and allow extra time to walk there. Once inside the Park, protesters will spend the entire day countering any presence by white supremacists and keeping them from terrorizing the community.

Andrea McDonald, FLOWER spokesperson, says, “The Stone Mountain Memorial Association made the right decision in denying the Rock Stone Mountain organizers their permit, but since that point, their decision-making process has been opaque and deeply irresponsible. They have failed to publicly alert the surrounding area to the threat posed by violent white supremacists and their planned armed invasion of the Park.” Other FLOWER organizers have been alerting downtown Stone Mountain small businesses themselves, attempting to make up for the inaction of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association.

The FLOWER Coalition encourages greater media coverage of the irresponsible park management system and the white supremacist history behind the Confederate carvings. However, journalists covering the event on the ground should note that there will be no official spokesperson for the FLOWER coalition on the day, and no one counter-protester will speak for the entire coalition. Counter-protesters will speak for themselves, their own groups, and their own communities, but coalition statements will only come from the FLOWER website, social media, and email.

For further information on the protest, follow our social media closely on the day of the event.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/flowerunited
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/flowersunite

January 23, 2019: Frustrated Klansmen and Neo-Nazis Pose a Danger on February 2nd

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. Jan. 23, 2019 – In recent weeks, things have gone from bad to worse for the white supremacist organizers of “Rock Stone Mountain II,” which is scheduled for the Saturday before the Super Bowl at Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta. They admitted failure in their attempt to legally challenge the Park’s denying them a permit, and have been widely and publicly exposed by anti-racists. Last week, Jennette Estes – a white supremacist “Rock Stone Mountain” supporter and wife of its main organizer – was exposed by Atlanta Antifascists as a passenger service agent working for Delta Airlines at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

The response by “Rock Stone Mountain” organizers to these setbacks has been to lash out at everyone, even other racist and far-Right groups. In a sign of their increasingly volatile mindset, the organizers even called on Facebook for their supporters to make a “polite” visit to the head of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association who denied their permit.

The Klan/neo-Nazi rally has now stated that they will not provide a centralized meeting-point for their event, instead calling for racist groups to descend on the Park in groups of less than 25 to “make the entire park our playground” and “push back against the Commie scum.” The FLOWER anti-racist coalition views this as a clear threat to marginalized communities and any opponents of racist monuments, and in response will mobilize a mass presence at Stone Mountain Park that day, to block white supremacists who are now planning a decentralized invasion of the Park.

“The only answer to this threat is mass mobilization,” says Andrea McDonald of the FLOWER coalition. “We call on all community members to join us, as we stand up against the Klan and white supremacist terror.”

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https://twitter.com/flowerunited/status/1086819786074570752
https://twitter.com/afainatl/status/1084928559527931904

January 14, 2019: THE TIME IS RIGHT TO SANDBLAST STONE MOUNTAIN

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. – Jan. 14, 2019 – On January 10, a coalition of civil rights organizations, including the NAACP and the SCLC, announced they would hold a rally on February 2 to kick off an effort to remove all confederate monuments across Georgia. This announcement is a welcome sign that mass resistance against confederate monuments is swelling to a tipping point. 

However, as the movement to remove confederate monuments grows, the threat of violence from white supremacists seeking to defend what they call “sacred landmarks” also grows. The Frontline Organizations Working to End Racism coalition (FLOWER) supports the call from the NAACP to remove all confederate monuments from Georgia, and also hopes that the pre-Superbowl rally will complement the rally FLOWER will hold at Stone Mountain itself. 
“We recognize the opportunity for mass attention for the movement to be gained by a rally near the Super Bowl stadium, and we also believe it’s crucially important to counter white supremacists directly when they seek to hold their own rally at Stone Mountain,” says Andrea McDonald, a FLOWER organizer. 
For years, white supremacists have protected Confederate monuments based on a three-pronged strategy: revisionist history, legal state protection, and violent terrorism against communities of color. In 2019, the first two strategies are encountering push-back. Racist pseudo-history is being challenged and replaced with accurate accounts. Throughout the South, the political landscape is shifting, and communities are beginning to see opportunities to challenge legally-protected racist monuments.
But the third strategy – racist terror – remains. 
Confederate sites such as at Stone Mountain – where the modern Klan was born in 1915 – are still rallying points for racist organizers. A Klan- and neo-Nazi-organized protest is being planned for Stone Mountain Park on Saturday, February 2. Wherever Confederate monuments function as designed, white supremacists are emboldened.
“We welcome the strong push being made against Confederate monuments during Super Bowl weekend,” saysAndrea McDonald, “and we hope for large attendance at all anti-racist events. Inside the city or on top of the mountain, the community will not succumb to fear.” 
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For more information, contact [email protected]
Links:    
January 10, 2019: ANTI-RACIST PROTESTERS CHALLENGE "MASK LAW" IN COURT – AND ON THE STREET

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. – On January 7, 2019, 31-year-old Alan Hutzel appeared before Judge John Herbert Cranford in Coweta County with a motion to dismiss his case. Arrested last April in Newnan for wearing a mask while protesting a Nazi rally, Hutzel argued that since he wore the mask to protect himself from being identified by white supremacists, his actions did not meet the criterion of “intent to intimidate” which is required by case law regarding Georgia state law O.C.G.A. 16-11-38.

The parties in Hutzel’s case will argue further in a future hearing, but the issue of how the mask law is enforced will likely be tested again soon. White supremacists have announced plans to hold a rally at Stone Mountain on February 2, similar to the 2016 rally that pitted white supremacists and counter-protesters against each other and caused the park to close for the day. Although Stone Mountain denied a permit for the rally, both white supremacists and anti-racist counter-protesters have stated their intention to hold events at the park on that day.

Frontline Organizations Working to End Racism, or FLOWER, is a coalition of groups planning a counter-protest to any white supremacist event on February 2, and they say that it’s possible some protesters will wear masks.

“Anti-racist protesters don’t wear masks to intimidate,” says Andrea McDonald, one of the FLOWER coalition organizers; “they wear masks to protect themselves from being identified and targeted by white supremacists.” Right-wing extremists often publish private information about anti-racist protesters and encourage their followers to harass leftist activists (https://theintercept.com/2017/09/06/how-right-wing-extremists-stalk-dox-and-harass-their-enemies/).

Michael Carothers, an admin of the Facebook page for the upcoming white supremacist rally, stated on social media that a Georgia State Patrol officer promised him they would arrest any anti-racist protestors who wear masks at the February 2 event (https://archive.fo/ZGpWm). And white nationalist Brad Griffin (who uses the alias Hunter Wallace (https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/individual/bradley-dean-griffin) has said he will “dox” and harass any anti-racist protesters who are identified at the rally (https://archive.fo/UMnXZ).

If the promise Carothers claims the police made to him holds true, then Stone Mountain prosecutors should be prepared to prove that protesters wear masks with the intent to intimidate – or they may find themselves defending any mask-related arrests in court.

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For more information, contact [email protected]

December 19, 2018: Initial Release

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. – On February 2, 2019, the day before Superbowl Sunday, Neo-Nazis and Klansmen will hold a hate rally under the name “Rock Stone Mountain 2”. Stone Mountain Park has denied the racists a permit to hold their rally, but the Rock Stone Mountain organizers remain publicly committed to holding the event even without a permit. An anti-racist coalition named FLOWER (Front-Line Organization Working to End Racism) endorsed by dozens of community groups vows to oppose the white supremacist rally, and calls for large numbers to shut down the Klan event.

Rock Stone Mountain 2 is organized by the same individuals responsible for the Rock Stone Mountain white supremacist rally of April 2016, such as Neo-Nazi John Estes and Klan leader Greg Calhoun. In 2016, the first Rock Stone Mountain was disrupted by a wide-ranging coalition of community groups.

Since the 2016 Rock Stone Mountain event, there has been a dramatic rise in Neo-Nazi and Alt-Right activity, leading to murders and other acts of extreme violence across the country. The 2019 Rock Stone Mountain event comes in the wake of a deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue; the conviction of James Alexander Fields Jr. for his vehicular attack in Charlottesville, VA in 2017; prosecutions against the white supremacist Rise Above Movement for conspiracy and gang assaults; and the exposure of a clandestine Neo-Nazi paramilitary network called The Base.

Earlier in 2018, Georgia law enforcement agencies spent over $200K to protect a Michigan-based Nazi organization’s rally in Newnan, Georgia while brutalizing anti-racist protestors. This is why FLOWER’s website states, “Police, politicians, and government authorities will not solve the problem of racism for us. We must rely on each other to end white supremacy. We support grassroots anti-racist coordination in our schools, workplaces, and on the streets.”

“The community of Stone Mountain, home to many people of color and immigrants, is again being targeted by violent white supremacists,” says Jan, a FLOWER spokesperson. “By uniting together in 2016, the community sent a strong message to the Klan. In 2019, we will shut them down.”

For further information, email [email protected]riseup.net and view the mobilization’s website at flowerunited.org. The coalition is asking community groups who endorse their call to action to get in contact to support the February 2nd anti-racist mobilization.

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(https://atlantaantifa.org/2018/10/19/who-are-the-white-supremacists-attending-februarys-rock-stone-mountain-ii-rally/)

(https://www.splcenter.org/20180205/alt-right-killing-people)