Atlanta — A few dozen Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members, in full racist regalia, stood on the steps of the Georgia Capitol here spewing their vile white supremacist filth on April 20.
Across the street, 150 or more anti-racists drowned out their hate speech with a cacophony of drums, whistles and chants.
Numerous police agencies, including the Capitol Police, provided protection for the racist rally, lining the Capitol sidewalk with barricades and then parking police cars in front of the counterprotesters.
However, none of this was a deterrent to the fury and disgust felt by the largely youthful crowd, which was adamant in its rejection of racism and bigotry.
When the Nazis and the Klan went to retrieve their vehicles a block away, they were followed from the Capitol to a parking deck. The drumming and chanting continued at the exit until the police stopped traffic and made a way for the racists to escape.
While the police weren’t disturbed by the obscenely racist and profane speech of the Nazis and KKK, they dragged a 21-year-old woman from the progressive crowd, slammed her into a car and arrested her because of a commonly used obscenity on her sign. The arresting officers called her homophobic names. The courageous woman is a member of Just Us, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and asexual youth group.
Many in the crowd had never witnessed the sight of hooded KKK members and black-shirted Nazis giving the fascist salute, protected by dozens of police. It was a lesson in class politics that these same police harassed, monitored and kept surveillance on those calling for equality, justice and unity.