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Thanks to local agencies stepping up to offer help

The National Socialist Movement, a far-right political party categorized as a hate-group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, will hold a rally in downtown Newnan, Ga., today, approximately 45 miles from Chambers County. The group, which celebrates Adolf Hitler’s birthday and played an integral role in the Charlottesville, Va., riot in August 2017, is expected to have approximately 50-100 participants turn out.

The rally has been roundly denounced by the city of Newnan, as well it should. The NSM stands for intolerance, bigotry, violence and hatred and should be met with strong objection. However, Newnan city officials could not block the permit application put forward by the NSM, as all citizens have the right to peaceably assemble under the First Amendment, and as such the rally will take place.

In response, the city of Newnan has asked surrounding counties and cities to supply additional officers to be on scene today, in an effort to subdue any potential problems that may arise. Among those who have decided to answer the call is the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, which is sending eight deputies to Newnan for the day to provide whatever assistance is needed.   

“They sent a formal request for extra hands to assist in the event and we gladly are helping them,” said TCSO Sgt. Stewart Smith.

The city is expecting approximately 400 public safety personnel from local, state and federal agencies to be in attendance for the rally today.

Recent history has shown the unfortunate outcomes that can result when hate-filled groups swoop into a city for a rally such as this, and the city of Newnan is wise to be prepared. It is encouraging to see local law enforcement agencies respond so quickly and whole-heartedly to the needs of a fellow city.

Part of what makes Troup County and Chambers County great is the plethora of opinions and viewpoints from the citizens who live here. However, it is also refreshing to be reminded that our citizens and law enforcement officers will be quick to respond to the needs of a neighbor, putting down any differences that might exist to unite behind a common cause and stand against hatred and bigotry.

Thank you, to all those who are volunteering today.