Breaking News
More () »

Three dozen neo-Nazis met in Newnan by hundreds of counter protestors, lots of police

Ten people were arrested Saturday, after weeks of worry over a neo-Nazi rally in Newnan.

NEWNAN, Ga. -- About three dozen neo-Nazi protestors were met by hundreds of counter demonstrators and a heavy police presence in Newnan on Saturday.

Capping weeks of worry over potential violence between the National Socialist Movement and counter protestors, the ralliy was mostly peaceful, save for a few brief shouting and shoving matches.

A total of 10 people -- all of them counter protestors -- were arrested by police (story continues below gallery).

More than 400 police and law enforcement personnel were present, and despite the presence of hundreds of counter protestors, there were no confirmed reports of violence.

As it happened | Newnan neo-Nazi rally and counter protests

Neo-Nazis entered downtown around 4pm, well-protected by some 700 local and state police. Authorities had closed off roads downtown to secure their entrance into the downtown park away from hundreds of protestors. The two groups were separated from each other by nearly 100 yards, as well as fencing, barricades and dozens of Georgia State Troopers in riot gear.

Counter protestors could barely see the neo-Nazis, nor hear their rally. But the neo-Nazis couldn’t couldn’t help but hear the protestors.

Hundreds of police to be present at Newnan neo-Nazi rally

Law enforcement preparing for neo-Nazis, counter-protesters in Newnan Saturday

On Friday night, a downtown community rally of unity was held, as local residents and businesses were worried about clashes between neo-Nazis and their opponents.

Community sends message of #NewnanStrong ahead of Saturday's neo-Nazi rally

Members of Antifa, the loose-knit anti-fascist movement, gathered along the sidewalks on streets leading to Greenville Street Park, the site of the neo-Nazi park.

One protester held a sign that read, "You can shoot us, you can run over us, but your side always loses."

At one point, the crowd, many dressed in black, chanted, "All power to the people."

City workers had blocked off several key streets with barriers and surrounded the park with barricades topped with chain-link fencing.

Police allowed protesters onto the sidewalks of the barricaded streets after frisking them at entry points.

Inside the designated area, police with batons and wearing shields and riot gear stood five feet apart, forming a human barrier between the protesters, who were behind by barricades along the roadway, and the makeshift fence sealing off the park behind them.

Small businesses worried about neo-Nazi rally; Petition launched

Georgia GOP congressman upset about Newnan neo-Nazi rally

The neo-Nazi march was led by two men held a banner reading "Fighting for a Better Tomorrow." The protestors carried flags and shields with red-white-and blue markings and swastika-like symbols.

Leader Jeff Schoep — who called his group the "vanguard of the white race" — railed against the anti-fascist groups, blaming them for violence in Charlottesville. The members of the NSM, he said, are the 'true patriots."

"We will not back down," Schoep said. "We will stand against the tyranny of the far left."

USA Today also contributed to this report.

Before You Leave, Check This Out