The town of Stone Mountain, Georgia played host to a tense scene on Saturday as an overwhelming number of counter protesters dwarfed a planned pro-confederate rally on Main St.
Stone Mountain has been a flashpoint for these sort of skirmishes from time to time on account of the “Confederate Mount Rushmore” that has been carved into the side of the town’s iconic geological feature. This weekend was slated to see a number of pro-Confederate groups marching in the park adjacent to the infamous monument, the company who own the property shut down for the day to avoid any possible liability in the confrontations that often take place during these events.
The Confederate group then decided to take to the streets of downtown Stone Mountain instead, where they were overwhelmingly outnumbered by counter protesters. Even more shocking, the anti-Confederate group had their militarily-dressed adversaries outgunned as well.
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.
By 2 p.m., almost all of the protesters had left the area.
Left-leaning and centrist groups have begun arming themselves during these confrontations with pro-Confederate demonstrators in recent weeks – something that may or may not have contributed to the smaller numbers that the far-right groups have been able to muster.
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