Protests against Nazi Skinhead Hammerfest in Draketown, Georgia
north america / mexico |
migration / racism |
Wednesday October 26, 2005 17:40 by Ignatious - Capital Terminus Anarchist-Communist Collective Collective
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.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
of Anarchist Atlanta