KKK and neo-Confederate groups threaten to protest MLK memorial in Georgia
Members of the Ku Klux Klan and several neo-Confederate organizations are organizing a demonstration against a memorial for Martin Luther King Jr. near Atlanta, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported.
According to a Facebook page promoting the Nov. 14 protest, organizers are asking attendees to “stand with us against the traitors who wish to tarnish our Ancestors Heritage by placing a Monument celebrating Martin L. King on Stone Mountain. MLK has no revelance to our Southern Heritage where our beloved 13 States were forced to fight the Northern Aggressors that attacked us.”
Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and League of the South have already promoted the event online, the SPLC stated, adding that other groups have emerged online seemingly created solely to spread the word about the demonstration.
The group leading the planned protest was identified by the SPLC as the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which also staged a demonstration at the University of Mississippi objecting to a planned student vote on whether to remove the state flag from the campus because it contains the Confederate battle flag.
One of the Knights’ leaders, Shaun P. Winkler, allegedly posted online that “We are no longer in a time where peacefully waving a flag is going to get a message across. Only by hard action by those of us today will secure a future for tomorrow.” Winkler, who has been linked to the Aryan Nations white supremacist group, has identified himself in the past as the “Imperial Wizard of the Aryan Nations Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.”
As CNN reported, The Stone Mountain Memorial Association, the state agency in charge of maintaining both the mountain and Stone Mountain Park, plans to honor the civil rights leader by installing a replica of the Liberty Bell with the phrase “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia” inscribed upon it. King used the line during his famous “I Have A Dream” speech in 1963.
The bell would be placed on top of a wall bearing the likenesses of Confederacy President Jefferson Davis, as well as military figures Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
The association’s head, Bill Stephens, pushed for the addition of both the “King Monument Bell” and a museum exhibit honoring black soldiers on both sides of the Civil War to make the park more than “a three-dimensional history lesson [that] has pushed a one-sided view of America’s bloodiest conflict.”