A neo-Nazi rally in Newnan, Ga., that celebrated the birthday of Adolph Hitler concluded without violence or property damage on Saturday evening, but 10 counter-protesters were arrested.
A heavy police presence, with some officers in riot gear, filled the center of Newnan, a town of about 37,000 near metro Atlanta. Hundreds of counter-protesters loudly denounced the approximately two dozen Nazis, who earlier told Newnan officials they expected 50-100 attendees.
The short march and gathering — in a city park — was organized by the National Socialist Movement, a Detroit-based hate group believed to be one of the largest in the nation.
National Socialist Movement leader Jeff Schoep gave a "loud, rambling" speech about being "the vanguard of the white race," according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Some of the counter-protesters were arrested for wearing masks, according to reports.
The Republican lieutenant governor, Casey Cagle, tweeted out prayers for Newnan and denounced the hate groups. Governor Nathan Deal, also a Republican, said nothing publicly.
Praying for Newnan. We must condemn the bigotry spread by hate groups. Our thoughts are with Sheriff Yeager, city officials, and all law enforcement officers who are working to protect residents and we hope the protests remains nonviolent.
— Casey Cagle (@CaseyCagle) April 21, 2018