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Group says it vandalized Kennesaw Confederate paraphernalia store with 'Antifa Smurfs'

The group, INDECLINE, said they had gained the owner's permission to work on the mural under the guise of being Civil War enthusiasts.

KENNESAW, Ga. — A group said early Sunday it had vandalized the infamous Wildman's Confederate paraphernalia store in Kennesaw with "Antifa Smurfs."

The group, INDECLINE, released photos of the changes to the mural - which had previously depicted two Civil War soldiers and the name of the store, "Wildman's Dent Myers Civil War Surplus & Herb Shop."

The photos appear to show Smurf cutouts wearing Antifa-style clothing, doing various acts including raising middle fingers, urinating on one of the soldiers and another rearing back to club the other soldier with a bat bearing an anti-Nazi logo.

Credit: Courtesy: INDECLINE
Credit: Courtesy: INDECLINE

INDECLINE characterized the vandalization as an anti-racist protest, and titled it "Respect Existence or Expect Resistance."

The group, in a press release, said it had visited owner Dent Myers periodically over the course of six months under the guise of being Civil War enthusiasts and "ultimately gained permission to work on the pre-existing mural that adorns the brick wall above the store."

The group included video of Myers seemingly giving them permission to work on the mural, telling them "it's okay, you do anything you wanna do," though at 23 seconds long it is difficult to discern any context of that conversation.

"I'm glad to have you, always glad to meet an enterprising entrepreneur," Myers says, with it being unclear what he's referring to.

"Don't say we can do anything... we'll put a bunch of Antifa Smurfs up there," the INDECLINE member responds, with Myers not appearing to quite register it.

INDECLINE describes itself as an activist art collective "comprised of graffiti writers, filmmakers, photographers and full-time rebels and activists" that "focuses on social, ecological and economical injustices carried out by American and International governments, corporations and law enforcement agencies."

The Wildman's store, with its array of Confederate flags hanging outside its downtown Kennesaw storefront and a slew of white supremacist paraphernalia for sale inside, has frequently been a source of tension in the city - which was once known for its "Old South" style politics that included a mandate that all residents own guns and has changed considerably in recent years, voting comfortably for Joe Biden in most precincts in the 2020 election.

Last year, a group of peaceful student protesters confronted Myers outside his store and engaged him in a dialogue, with the demonstration ending with him shaking the hand of a Black Kennesaw State student. 

Also last year, the city voted to remove a Confederate flag from its downtown war memorial.

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