Today I witnessed a powerful and moving mobilization against hate by hundreds of counter protesters from all over the country. They well outnumbered the white supremacists preaching "Diversity=White Genocide" (barf) that were kept in a pen of sorts a good distance from demonstrators and were surrounded at all times by police in riot gear. A Confederate militia group that disavows the Confederate flag-wielding white supremacists gathered in an area near the carving on the mountain, and no one saw much of them. I did later see the same man I interviewed last year on Confederate Memorial Day walking up the mountain with the Confederate flag. Some people certainly do make a career of it.
Though it has been reported that nine people were arrested, this protest was largely without incident. I did witness several tense episodes and have documented some of those in a couple of the following video clips. It was heartening to see such a wide variety of people speaking out against hate, and it was equally satisfying to see just how few white supremacists actually showed up. Sadly, though, I think this meant the cards were stacked against the counter protesters, in that they became the main focus of law enforcement and media
Despite the protest, I still met so many diverse people from the community and visitors from around the world walking up and down the mountain (see slider below), or jogging around the base of the mountain, even dodging protesters at times, simply trying to enjoy the park and the day. A black woman who only recently moved here from Connecticut cried when she encountered the white supremacists but took heart in the fact that she belongs wherever we're at regardless of the color of her skin.
Here are some photos and video clips from the protests at Stone Mountain through my eyes.