STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga.
- Feb. 14, 2019
-- On February 2nd, the antiracist coalition FLOWER (FrontLine Organization Working to End Racism) celebrated the cancellation of "Rock Stone Mountain 2" with a march through the town of Stone Mountain. Stone Mountain Park itself was closed off to the public by police. Our event was peaceful, cheered on by many residents, and ended with street theater: the symbolic burning of an environmentally friendly papier-mâché
We would like to address some of the media reaction to the march. A small part of our march was armed. Given the fact that a "Rock Stone Mountain 2" organizer had called for guerrilla attacks the week before, and given historical examples of murderous attacks against antiracists by far-right extremists as occurred in Greensboro in 1979 and Charlottesville in 2017, the presence of armed security was necessary to protect the marchers and the community. Many media outlets understood this necessity, although some others focused on more sensationalistic framings. We encourage them to delve deeper next time.
Since this event, FLOWER has been contacted by private individuals and media outlets regarding our successful organizing. For those who want more information, we will remain active on twitter (twitter.com/
. We also encourage interested parties to connect with the many endorsers of our February 2nd event, who are listed on our website (flowerunited.org)
. These groups are all working in their communities to defeat racism, and deserve your support.
Finally, we would like to address the actions of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, which operates Stone Mountain Park. SMMA's defensive position regarding the racist carving is untenable. By forcing most Stone Mountain park workers to take an unpaid day off on February 2nd, the Association caused economic harm to the community. We call on them to provide back pay to all the workers who were told to stay home that day.
FLOWER will keep our coalition ready in order to counter Neo-Nazi and KKK activity, especially events centered around Confederate monuments. We have dealt an embarrassing blow to the white supremacists who had said they would make Stone Mountain Park their "playground"
and it may take them a long time to recover. However, as long as the racist carving remains enshrined on the mountainside, it will serve as a rallying point for white supremacists. A growing chorus of voices is calling for what's right: it's time to sandblast Stone Mountain.