Activists who posted flyers about a white nationalist homeowner in Buckhead say they wanted to “break the silence around white power organizers” and hope to “see some sort of protest” from the community.

Last month’s publicity efforts by Atlanta Antifascists, a far-left group, targeted a house on Ridgeland Way in Peachtree Hills that is owned by Sam Dickson, a prominent white nationalist.

The flyers – hung on poles and mailed to some residents – triggered a dispute among board members of the Peachtree Hills Civic Association. Donna Lorenz, the civic association’s secretary, proposed the group issue a general statement supporting diversity. Instead, she said and group president Ted Fleming confirmed, the association consulted the Atlanta Police Department and sent out a general statement that flyers on public poles are illegal. Lorenz said the board also asked her to resign for speaking to the media, and she did. Meanwhile, Dickson joined the association, though he said the activists’ campaign was not a reason.

The flyers from the antifascist or “antifa” group claimed that Dickson’s house is home to several racist or white nationalist activists and called it a “white power organizing hub.” The flyers were headlined “Neighborhood Alert,” but did not suggest any particular action. In a related article on its website, the group criticized Dickson and other alleged residents of his Ridgeland Way property as involved in real estate gentrification as a white separatist tactic.

In an email signed only with the group’s name, Atlanta Antifascists said it hoped to spread awareness about the local white nationalists and spark some kind of protest. The group says it does not currently plan to conduct such protests itself.

“Our hope with the mailing and postering in the neighborhood was to break the silence around white power organizers based at the Ridgeland Way address, and to inform any residents who may not have been aware,” the group wrote.

“It would be good to see visible signs of opposition, such as anti-racist signs in the windows of the neighborhood homes or a community speak-out,” the group said. “…We do not have immediate plans to protest the Ridgeland Way organizing hub, although the option remains open. We certainly would love to see some sort of protest coming from the local community.”

The Antifascist group said it hopes local organizations and businesses will deny membership or event-hosting to local white nationalists. In particular, the group said, there is “a pattern of Buckhead restaurants hosting far-right and white-nationalist events.” While the group did not specify the incident, one such event that drew widespread attention was last year’s appearance by prominent Holocaust denier David Irving at a Buckhead restaurant.

Dickson, an attorney and real estate investor, is a well-known white nationalist who has appeared frequently in local and national media, including for his representation of a Ku Klux Klan leader in a 1988 civil trial. He often speaks and writes on white nationalist topics and has been criticized by such groups as the Southern Poverty Law Center.

He has described himself in interviews and writings as a white nationalist, but said in emails that he prefers the terms “racial communitarian” or “racial idealist.”

Dickson previously criticized Atlanta Antifascists as “a group of fascist thugs” and “dangerous,” and alleged its activists have “vandalized” other properties he owns, while also saying, “I don’t really give a damn about the Antifa and other internet attacks.”

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.