A predominantly Black group of heavily armed protesters marched through Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta on Saturday, calling for removal of the giant Confederate rock carving at the site that civil rights activists consider a monument to racism.
Video footage of the Independence Day rally posted on social media showed scores of demonstrators dressed in black – many in paramilitary-style clothing and all wearing face scarves – quietly parading several abreast down a sidewalk at the park.
The protesters all carried rifles, including military-type weapons, and some wore ammunition belts slung over their shoulders. Although African Americans appeared to account for the bulk of the marchers, protesters of various races, men and women alike, were among the group.
One video clip showed a leader of the demonstrators, who was not identified, shouting into a loudspeaker in a challenge to white supremacists who historically have used Stone Mountain as a rallying spot of their own.