A group of heavily armed Black protesters marched through Stone Mountain Park, Georgia near Atlanta on Saturday, MTO News has learned. The protesters, who are calling themselves "Black Panthers" are calling for the removal of the giant Confederate rock carving at the site that civil rights activists consider a monument to racism.
Video footage of the July 4th rally went viral on social media. The videos showed demonstrators dressed in black and wearing paramilitary-style clothing marching in military formation, down a sidewalk at the park.
The group, known as the Not F***ing Around Coalition (NFAC) was comprised of about 100 to 200 people.
Shortly after 2 p.m., Bankhead said the group was allowed to come into the park and entered from the West Gate. They then headed toward the lawn area of the park, where the large Confederate carving of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson on the north face of the mountain can be viewed.
The protesters all carried rifles and some wore ammunition belts slung over their shoulders.
One video clip showed a leader of the demonstrators, who was not identified, was shouting into a loudspeaker in a challenge to white supremacists who historically have used Stone Mountain as a rallying spot of their own.
Here's a video of the incident:
MTO News contacted the park for comment, and John Bankhead, a spokesman for the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, told us that the protesters were "peaceful and orderly."