As expected, the CofCC and League of the South’s “Stand With Tom Watson Rally” was held at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta without any problems.
13 activists turned out to participate in the event. There was no leftwing opposition present. To my knowledge, this was the first time the CofCC and League of the South have ever worked together to hold a joint protest. If so, this was a milestone in our project of fostering greater unity in the movement and changing the image and trajectory of “the Radical Right” in the South.
For several months now, the League of the South has been holding these smaller, local rallies in Central Florida in between the “Southern Demographic Displacement” rallies which are held every two months. The “Stand With Tom Watson” protest in Atlanta was the first rally of this sort in Georgia.
While the CofCC was known for holding lots of these rallies in the past, there has been a drop off in activity in recent years, mostly due to health-related issues. Like the League after the Uvalda protest, we plan to reverse this trend and get CofCC members meeting up and holding similar protests on a regular basis.
Personally, I think the signs that we used in Atlanta looked really sharp, and when we can get more people to turn out at our protests (first, we have to demonstrate that the world isn’t going to end when they do so), we could order them on a larger scale and at a much cheaper price. Instead of 10 people holding those signs, we could have 100 holding them whenever we do something like this.
The most memorable aspect of the “Stand With Tom Watson” protest wasn’t the absence of “anti-fa” opposition. It was the dozens of homeless black people who were living across the street from us in front of a Presbyterian church. Throughout the entire “Stand With Tom Watson” demonstration, the homeless black people watched without once rousing themselves to walk over and oppose us.
At one point, we had one of them come up to us, and he told one of our activists that he didn’t give a damn about the Tom Watson statue. Naturally, we had several of them approach us and ask for money, and at the end of the demonstration a fight erupted among the homeless black people across the street and the Capitol police swarmed over and made an arrest.
More than anything else, that put the exclamation point on the Tom Watson protest: black politicians in Atlanta are incapable of providing employment, housing, education, or even public safety (100 percent of homicide in Atlanta is black) for their own constituents, and because of their failure as elected public officials, they routinely try to change the subject by demagoguing against “racist” monuments and statues.
Note: I spent a lot of time talking to Joeff Davis who is the reporter from Creative Loafing. We also suspect the SPLC was on scene because someone who “just happened to be walking by” recognized one of our activists.