We got a whole army behind us!— Ashanti group member
April 21 of 2018 People’s Defense League members (then New Orleans John Brown Gun Club) did a community defense operation in the town of Newnan, Georgia with a joint task force of members from (then) Chattanooga Redneck Revolt, Tampa John Brown Gun Club, Orlando John Brown Gun Club (all Florida RR/JBGC chapters have since reformed into a statewide org called Sawgrass Community Defense Group), for the purpose of protecting the community and leftist activists from Ku Klux Klan members and other Neo-Nazi elements who came to the small southern town to hold an armed rally in a park.
The morning of the action all teams rallied up in a vacant parking lot that we used as a “base of operations” for planning and switching out fireteams who patrolled the town as well as serving as an aid station for anti-fascist activists who passed by which we offered bottled water and snacks or medical care if needed. The police had a huge militarized check point around the park where the fascists were having their rally so activists who chose to enter the pre-determined protest area where subject to frisking or in our case as open carriers, disarming. So to stay within the law and also not disarm ourselves we were forced to stay outside the police cordon and opted to patrol the back streets and show a presence and counter power to the fascists and provide defense in the event of altercations with fascists outside the cordon.
Later in the day a large bloc of black student activists who referred to themselves as the “Ashanti Group” (pictured) marched down the street by our base/aid station and we greeted them with raised fists, they later came back to visit us and take pictures, many of them thanked us for our service to the community and coming from so far away to be there. Many of the townspeople we came across were happy to see us there and welcomed us with open arms.
There was some arrests and violence on behalf of the cops on the unarmed leftist protesters that day but the hundreds of anti-fascist protesters vastly outnumbered the handful of 15 or so neo-nazis and klansmen that showed up to the rally, and major violence was avoided when the state as well as the counter protesters were expecting violence on the level of the Battle of Charlottesville on August 12, 2017 where fascist James Fields killed anti-fascist Heather Heyer in cold blood and mortally injured many others with a vehicle attack.
At the end of the action all teams reported back to our temporary base and started taking off our body armor and made safe our weapons and put them back into their cases. We sat in a circle in the parking lot for a while figuring out where we wanted to go eat while 2 police helicopters who have been circling our base all day continued flying low over us. We eventually decided on a local Mexican restaurant and shared good food, cerveza and margaritas after a long hot day before saying our goodbyes and going our separate ways back to our respective states.