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Protests against Nazi Skinhead Hammerfest in Draketown, Georgia

category north america / mexico | migration / racism | news report author Wednesday October 26, 2005 17:40author by Ignatious - Capital Terminus Anarchist-Communist Collective Collective Report this post to the editors

Report on NAACP protest

On the weekend of October 1st and 2nd a neo-nazi group calling itself the Hammer Skin Nation held it's annual music festival, Hammerfest at a little known restaurant and bar called the Georgia Peach. That same weekend the NAACP held a march in protest of the racist slogans that the owner of the Georgia peach, Patrick Lanzo, has been putting on the marquee outside of his bar. The march attracted roughly 50-60 people.

Hammerfest 2005


On the weekend of October 1st and 2nd a neo-nazi group calling itself the Hammer Skin Nation held it's annual music festival, Hammerfest. It was held at a little known restaurant and bar called the Georgia Peach just outside of the unincorporated town of Draketown, in Paulding county Georgia.

That same weekend the NAACP held a march in protest of the racist slogans that the owner of the Georgia peach, Patrick Lanzo, has been putting on the marquee outside of his bar.

The march attracted roughly 50-60 people, who rallied outside the bar and protested the blatant racism of the owner. A counter protest held by the owner and with supporters from both the Hammer Skin Nation and the KKK attracted roughly the same numbers. However the two combined were nearly out numbered by the 100+ State Troopers, Paulding County Sheriffs, GBI, FBI and officers from the Department of Homeland Security.

The overwhelming response by the state was an interesting twist as the NAACP had been trying to get something done about the signs outside the Georgia Peach for two months without any recognition by the county government. But once the march was announced there seemed to be a change in the direction of the wind. Maybe the county was concerned about it's image? How would they be able to explain away a group of neo-nazi's and Klan members attacking a group of people who were standing up for their right not to be harassed and intimidated where they call home.

Prior to the NAACP's call for the march another call went out for anarchists, in Georgia, to organize against the neo-nazi music festival. Though there was a small response it culminated in a small network being formed with a focus on doing anti-racist and anti-fascist work. This group spent the two weeks before Hammerfest leafleting the surrounding areas with a flyer about the history of Hammerfest and the Hammer Skin Nation, including a list of arrests and convictions. Thanks to the One People's Project, the newly formed anti-fascist network learned about the NAACP's plans to protest the sign outside of the Georgia Peach. The new network then sent copies of their flyer to the One People's Project and to local branches of the NAACP, to make their own efforts known and to offer their assistance.

Outside the Georgia Peach the NAACP held a small but lively protest. Though they didn't talk about Hammerfest they expressed their distaste for Lanzo's "off color" signs and committed themselves to fight against racism and to see it's outward expressions, like Lanzo's signs, removed. And even though they were subjected to racist music and the occasional "sieg heil" from the Hammerskins the protestors stood their ground. Even when confronted by an over-zealous Nazi skinhead, who tried to pick a fight with the marchers as they marched back towards the church (where the march began), the marchers would not be intimidated. Afterwards the march continued unimpeded.

Hammerfest started late that day due to the road being blocked off by the police but continued as planned, attracting between 200 and. The numbers vary so widely, due to different reports from many different sources, Historically Hammerfest has drawn 200-300 people yearly. Though the NAACP may have only focused on the sign outside of the Georgia Peach, their determination to keep on fighting against this outward sign of racism is inspiring. However without a clear message to the Nazi's that they are not welcome in our neighborhoods we give them our unexpressed consent to continue on with their activities. It's not enough to protest the signs Patrick Lanzo puts up, nor is it enough to protest Hammerfest, both are just symptoms of the disease. We need to focus on the Georgia Peach and Patrick Lanzo and work with the surrounding communities and see it closed down. If it closes not only will the signs go away, the Hammer Skin Nation and the Klan will no longer have a place to hold their rallies and music festivals. But it can't stop there. These racists will not just go away they will find somewhere else to go, so they'll have to be followed and exposed for who and what they really are.

However it is not just Patrick Lanzo or the Hammer Skin Nation, there are other organized racist groups in Georgia of varying sizes. So we need to be prepared for when they rear their ugly heads. We should not only organize against the Klan and the Nazi's, we should build a strong multi-cultural community to combat the effects of the social racism which feeds groups likes these as well as creates tension between residents of our communities. By breaking down the walls built up between white, black, red, yellow and brown we'll be a stronger people, more capable of resisting racist incursion into our communities, and harder to separate in our day to day struggles in our communities and work places. It won't be an easy struggle. Nothing worth struggling for, ever is.

If you'd like more information or are interested in joining the struggle against fascism and racism you can contact the Georgia Anti-Fascist Network at ga_antifa@yahoo.com.


From Issue2 of Anarchist Atlanta

author by Randy - CTC supporter (persoanl capacity)publication date Fri Jul 18, 2008 19:53Report this post to the editors

This report is a couple of years old, but I wanted to add a brief personal account.

I was part of the antifascist contingent that joined the NAACP protest. We had a bit of difficulty locating the site on time, so the lines were already drawn between the two camps when we arrived. Some officers saw us approach, accessed our (white) skin color..and tried to herd us into the fascists' camp!

To say that we took issue with this assumption, is to understate the matter. After several minutes of explanation, we were allowed to join the NAACP side of the fray. The fascists seemed to take particular pleasure in photographing our little group, again, presumably because of our skin color. Rather fun to confound the assumptions of so many, on a single day.

author by coyotepublication date Sat Jul 19, 2008 09:54Report this post to the editors

The cops had so many of those small county roads closed off finding our way to the church was very difficult, then the cop holding down the fort at the church parking lot didn't want to let us park or go on down the road to catch up with the march. I don't remember how we talked him around. We've gotten pretty good at standing our ground telling cops "no" without getting busted.

Funny, two of the times we've had to do it, the cops were under the impression we needed to be with the counter-protest.

author by Scooter - nonepublication date Mon Sep 26, 2011 22:53Report this post to the editors

Is it not their freedom to have a concert if they dont bother anyone? Im not on any side, but doesnt the naacp have functions all the time? I think this is clearly a case of hipocricy.

 
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