Counterprotesters at a neo-Nazi rally in Newnan, G.A. were met with a heavily militarized police force of approximately 700 officers on April 21, in which at least 10 people were arrested, according to Slate.
Described by Christopher Mathias of the Huffington Post as "the most aggressive over-policing [he has] ever seen," images circulating on Twitter showed heavily armed police officers pointing weapons at seemingly unarmed counterprotesters.
The event illicited similar apprehension to the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va., last August, where a neo-Nazi drove a van into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters, killing one person and injuring dozens.
Multiple protesters were tackled and arrested for the crime of wearing a mask, Jack Smith IV, a senior writer at Mic, wrote in a tweet.
Police rush into a crowded protest at the Nazi rally to snatch and arrest someone, allegedly for wearing a red bandana on their face — multiple protesters have been tackled and arrested for masks already today. pic.twitter.com/OdVXUpixHT— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) April 21, 2018
Huffington Post reports:
The lead officer in the arrests said the counterprotesters were breaking a state law regarding masks, likely referring to a seldom-enforced 1951 law originally aimed at combating hooded Ku Klux Klan members. Anti-fascist protesters ― many belonging to chapters of antifa groups, known for sometimes violently confronting white supremacists ― often wear masks to avoid being identified by both law enforcement and neo-Nazis.
Read more here.