Lewis Smith, the chief of police of Uvalda, a small town in the state of Georgia (population around 600), has announced his intention to join an anti-immigration protest organized by white supremacists and neo-Confederate groups.
Smith indicated he planned to attend the event, scheduled for August 24 in Uvalda, on the Facebook page of the League of the South (LOS). LOS is an implicitly racist group that seeks to create a South predicated on “Anglo-Celtic” cultural dominance. The original Facebook posting (which has since been modified) stated that the organizers of the event were Hunter Wallace (whose real name is Brad Griffin), a white supremacist who runs “Occidental Dissent” and Michael Cushman, who runs “Southern Nationalist Network.” “Occidental Dissent” is a racist blog that focuses on the South and “Southern Nationalist Network” is a neo-Confederate blog that focuses on “Southern identity.”
Others announcing they would attend the event include Matthew Heimbach, a white supremacist leader with the Traditionalist Youth Network, and Kyle Rogers, a key player in the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. Michael Hill, the president of the League of the South, will also attend the event, along with other LOS members. The protest will purportedly focus on the claim that “immigration is destroying our Southern Culture.”
Immigration has recently played a significant role in the politics of tiny Uvalda. The mayor, Paul Bridges, has been very vocal in his opposition to HB87, Georgia’s harsh anti-immigration law passed in 2011. Bridges joined a 2011 lawsuit challenging the law, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Since 2011, Bridges and Smith have been involved in a series of disputes. Some of the disagreements between the two seem to have stemmed from issues related to immigrants living in the town.