A white-pride group headquartered in South Georgia is planning an October demonstration march in Grantville in tribute to an 83-year-old woman tortured and murdered in a botched robbery.
The city denied the original parade request Monday because the route would hinder traffic and fire trucks. Officials suggested an alternative route would be approved.
The permit request came by email from Tom Davis of Alma, Ga., who said he was the chairman of the Georgia League of the South.
“We are interested in holding a peaceful demonstration in Grantville in order to draw attention to the plight of Mrs. Dorothy Dow, the recent victim of a terrible crime,” he wrote.
The suspects are in custody for the beating, burning and death of Dorothy “Dot” Dow who was attacked Aug. 2 at her home in the Lone Oak community of Meriwether County which is near Grantville.
After breaking her arms and fingers, her attackers set her afire. She used a jug of water to put out the fire and then called 911 and was able to identify her attackers, according to the Meriwether sheriff.
Following surgery at an Atlanta hospital, Dow died on Aug. 27.
Davis went to to say the event was to show support for local law enforcement and the quick apprehension of the suspects in Dow’s case.
“We are hereby applying for a permit for said demonstration, acting as respectful and law-abiding citizens wishing to exercise our freedom of speech,” he wrote.
The organization wants to hold the demonstration of Oct. 8 from 1-4 p.m.
Comments, dialogues and pictures on the group’s website and Facebook page suggest supporters’ feelings about the case.
“My frustration level is at an all-time high, thinking about that poor woman…,” one comment read. “These animals need to be lynched. No wonder our ancestors did what they had to do.”
The group also posted a comment, “Thugs attempt to burn an elderly white woman to death. If this were whites burning blacks, it would be national news. This deserves some kind of response, and the victim's family should deal with the guilty parties.”
Also posted were pictures of men holding signs calling for secession from the United States.
City Manager Al Grieshaber said the group would be notified of the alternate route requirement.
“The city of Grantville does not discriminate against applicants or applications for special event permits,” Grieshaber said in an email response. “Each application for a special event permit is judged on its own merits in accordance with our code of ordinances.”
The family of Dow released the following statement to The Newnan Times-Herald in response to the permit request:
"While the family of Dorothy Dow does respect the right of the League of the South to demonstrate, they do not support or endorse the use of Dot Dow's name for any of their actions. The family has not been asked for permission to use her name, nor would we give permission if asked. We resent anyone using our family tragedy to promote their own agenda. We are thankful that law enforcement has arrested individuals for the crimes committed against her, and we support the orderly functioning of the legal system in the days ahead.”
Mayor Doug Jewell has also been contacted by Dow’s family.
“I don’t either agree or disagree with the event, but we – the city – can’t discriminate because it would be a violation of their (First) Amendment rights,” he said.
The league can either accept the alternate route or appeal the city’s decision. Davis, the league’s chairman, could not be reached for comment.