Two armed groups on opposing sides of the ideological divide squared off at Stone Mountain, Ga., on Saturday as right-wing militias and their allies stood face to face with Black Lives Matter and other left-wing radicals who had come to oppose them.
A militia group from Georgia wanted to demonstrate their support for the monument at Stone Mountain — the largest bas-relief carving in the world that depicts Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee as well as Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Black Lives Matter was there to shout down the militias.
The situation became dicey at times as there were several pushing and wrestling matches between individuals, but no severe violence.
The town of Stone Mountain did its best to discourage the militias from protesting.
One militia organizer, Arkansas-based Confederate States III%, had intended to protest inside the park, but the Stone Mountain Memorial Association denied their permit, as did the city. When the group continued with plans to demonstrate there anyway, the park announced Friday it would close its gates for the day. Groups of militia scrambled in the hours after the announcement to come up with a new plan, while counter demonstrators urged their people to stick with their plan to convene in the city.
The militia groups and their allies ended up gathering in downtown, close to where the BLM counter-protest was going on.
Several dozen right-wing demonstrators, some waving the Confederate battle flag and many wearing military gear, gathered in downtown Stone Mountain where they faced off against a few hundred counterprotesters, many of whom wore shirts or carried signs expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement. People in both groups carried rifles. For several hours, there was little visible police presence and things were largely peaceful, aside from some shoving and pushing and spirited arguments.
But just before 1 p.m., fights broke out, with people punching and kicking each other and throwing rocks. That’s when police officers in riot gear moved in to disperse the crowds.
The crowds melted away when the police chief of Stone Mountain gave them an ultimatum.
They could probably use that guy in Portland and Seattle.
The monument at Stone Mountain is a little tougher to destroy than a statue or some gravestones. You would need a couple of hundred pounds of high explosives to make a dent in it. And it would take years to chisel away enough of the statue to bring the mountain back to its “natural state.”
Destruction of the monument would destroy the town of Stone Mountain, whose economy is heavily dependent on tourists who make the site the most popular destination in Georgia. Its majority-black residents are wholly dependent on the jobs and revenue that flow from the monument’s popularity. We haven’t heard them agitating for the monument’s removal.
Obviously, they aren’t woke enough.