UPDATE: Stone Mountain Park announced it is closing attractions and the Lasershow has been canceled Saturday. Natural areas, the campground, hotels and golf course remain open. Attractions will be open on Sunday.
All eyes will be on Stone Mountain Park as the Sons of Confederate Veterans get ready to hold a gathering Saturday on what would be Confederate Memorial Day.
It would not be the first Confederate Memorial Day event held at Stone Mountain Park. The state of Georgia officially declared it a Confederate memorial site years ago, which is why the rally is being held there.
The permit for the event in 2021 was denied because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In years past, protesters have clashed during the rallies, with some of them even being seen spraying a Georgia State Patrol officer with pepper spray.
Earlier this week, the Southern Poverty Law Center asked the Stone Mountain Memorial Association to revoke the permit for the rally, but the park told Channel 2 Action News that they legally cannot revoke this year’s permit.
On Wednesday, Channel 2 Action News contacted the association’s CEO, who said, “This is a free speech event covered by the First Amendment. We will continue to follow state law as well as honor the First Amendment rights of all Georgians.”
We also attempted to contact the Sons of Confederate Veterans for a comment about the rally, but they never responded.
There is word of some protests planned against Saturday’s rally. But so far, the park told Elliot, none of those groups have filed for a permit of their own.