COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — Law enforcement officers say Saturday's neo-Nazi rally was a success, following what ended up being a fairly peaceful event.
Authorities said they spent about 5-6 weeks preparing for the rally since the National Socialist Movement applied for and received a permit from the city.
We'll have the latest on today's rally, on the Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat at 11 p.m.
The Michigan-based "white civil rights organization" has been labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Hundreds of citizens from around the area descended on Newnan on Saturday to help spread a message of peace.
It was clear once the white nationalist group showed up that the number of counterprotesters and law enforcement, outnumbered the members of the group.
Authorities said late Saturday afternoon that about 10 people were arrested during the afternoon, all of whom were counterprotesters.
About 700 law enforcement officers from more than 40 different police agencies across the state were on hand to help keep the peace during the rally.
A minute-by-minute look at the rally:
5:09 p.m. It appears the rally has wrapped up and everyone is going home. We'll have a LIVE report on the rally, on Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m.
4:51 p.m. As the small contingent of neo-Nazis held their demonstration in Greenville Street Park, the hundreds of counterprotesters – kept separated by an 8-foot fence and dozens of rifle-carrying police – booed the group and shouted, "You lost, get over it," "Newnan strong," and "Shame on you!"
4:49 p.m. White nationalist group is speaking inside Newnan park.
4:24 p.m. Neo-Nazi group begins speaking inside Newnan park.
4:22 p.m. Newnan is the site of a massive police presence today. GBI Director Vernon Keenan is the city today, and he said a key concern is the large number of counterprotesters. Right now, law enforcement agencies are keeping them contained.
4:10 p.m. It appears a small group of neo-Nazis have arrived in Newnan park.
3:54 p.m. We just got word the neo-Nazi protestors have arrived in Newnan.
3:48 p.m. Anti-fascist demonstrators, also knows as Antifa, appear to be among the counterprotesters and residents rallying against the neo-Nazis. As law enforcement officers work to keep the groups of marchers orderly, those taking part in the rally and the counterdemonstrations face checkpoints.
3:40 p.m. Channel 2's Christian Jennings said there's still no sign of the neo-Nazi group.
3:35 p.m. Everyone, media included, goes through this security checkpoint.
3:30 p.m. This is going on outside the site where neo-Nazi rally is about to happen.
3:09 p.m. Channel 2's Christian Jennings is reporting more arrests have been made at rally:
3:05 p.m. Director Keenan among those in Newnan this afternoon.
3 p.m. Police in riot gear outside Coweta Courthouse in Newnan.
2:50 p.m. Newnan Police Department officers have arrested several counter-protesters. People with their group say they were arrested for wearing masks. The police have moved the press away and blocked the view with vans. Counter-protesters have moved out south toward the square/checkpoint area.
2:37 p.m. Counter-protesters reach Newnan square.
2:28 p.m. First arrests of counter-protesters at Newnan rally.
2:20 p.m. Taking a stand against the hate promoted by the marchers coming into town Saturday, local residents turned out in force Friday night, filling shops and restaurants. Children decorated Greenville Park with chalk drawings.
2:09 p.m. Newnan officials say the counterprotest area opened at 2 p.m.
1:50 p.m. Newnan residents Jack McBride, Jenny Lewis, Jane Brown and Chris McBride want the world to know hate is not a part of their community.
The group sat along a stone wall on a quiet street just blocks from the site of Saturday’s gathering, waving at passers-by, holding up a “Strong Together” sign and trying to make sure that their community is not associated with divisiveness.
“We don’t want this in our town,” Lewis said as cars honked in support of her sign. “This is a wonderful place to live.”
Jack McBride said the community is diverse racially, politically, economically and religiously, but has little tolerance for the views of groups supporting Nazi sentiment.
“We have all the problems of a small Southern town socially, but what they espouse is not who we are,” he said. “We don’t know why they’re here.”
1:30 p.m. Long list of things people can't bring to the rally today.
1:24 p.m. Officials said they don't want a repeat of what happened last summer during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA.
1:20 p.m. Many businesses are afraid. One owner told Channel 2 Action News they took everything valuable out of their place just in case.
1:15 p.m. Police expect about 100 counter-protestors.
1:05 p.m. Many businesses have closed for the day.
1:01 p.m. Barricades now along the street before the rally in Newnan.
1 p.m. Hasco Craver, Newnan assistant city manager, said the city is "proud of the overwhelming support we have received from nearby law enforcement agencies (and) citizens and business owners."
The first press conference was just held at Coweta County Justice Center. The city plans to hold updates every half- hour.
More than 40 law enforcement agencies are on hand as the city prepares for the arrival of the National Socialist Movement members and a separate contingent of counterprotesters.
The Georgia Department of Corrections has four prisoner transport buses on hand in case of mass arrests.
8 a.m. Officers make final preparations ahead of rally.
7:40 a.m. This is the sign that will greet those attending the rally.
7:30 a.m. More police in area where rally is happening later today.
7:25 a.m. Live look at the preparations underway.
7 a.m. Police already out in force patrolling downtown area ahead of rally.
6:45 a.m. Barricades and fencing surround Newnan park before rally.
6 a.m. Chalk art left in Newnan park where barricades set up for neo-nazi rally and counter-demonstrations.
Cox Media Group