NEWNAN, Ga. - As the date of a planned white separatist rally draws near in Newnan, residents continue to express their concerns over the safety citing the recent political climate and other rallies like the one held in Charlottesville, Virginia last May.
The event will take place the afternoon of Saturday, April 21 at Greenville Street Park. Newnan Assistant City Manager Hasco Craver released a statement Tuesday expressing how the city has prepared for the First Amendment display. It reads:
“The City of Newnan received a Pavilion Rental Agreement from the National Socialist Movement on March 5, 2018. Upon review for adherence to stated policies, the City of Newnan executed the Agreement on March 15, 2018. As stated in the agreement, the National Socialist Movement will be hosting a political rally between 3:00pm and 5:00pm in Greenville Street Park on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The agreement states that the event will likely include 50 [to] 100 people.
“The City of Newnan, in consultation with numerous local, state and federal agencies, has developed a public safety plan that is designed to ensure the safety of our citizenry as well as the preservation of public and private property. The City of Newnan is aware of recent activities in our country that include the actions of similar protests and counter protests. The City of Newnan has a responsibility to protect free speech rights, the individuals and groups that chose to exercise those rights and the broader community in which those rights may be exercised. The City of Newnan is taking very seriously multiple concerns regarding the safety of all persons and property. In order to meet that obligation, the City of Newnan has been preparing a robust public safety plan. The City of Newnan is committed to ensuring public safety and will utilize the resources needed to execute the public safety plan.
“Numerous traffic detours and road closures will be in place on Saturday, April 21, 2018. In addition, a number of local, state and federal agencies will join the City of Newnan's public safety personnel on Saturday, April 21, 2018 to provide for the successful management of the aformentioned [sic] event. At this time, the City of Newnan feels it is appropriate to close portions of Greenville Street, LaGrange Street and Salbide Avenue nearby, adjacent to and surrounding Greenville Street Park. Additional street closures may occur and may be announced at a later date. The City of Newnan recognizes the inconvenience the temporary street closures may create for residents and business alike; however, the City of Newnan feels it appropriate to promote public safety.”