SCV Flaggers Protest Outside Plant Wansley
November 7, 2011
Four members of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans group spent Monday afternoon protesting outside the entrance to the Georgia Power owned Plant Wansley, located in Southern Carroll County.
They were on hand from 2:30 p.m. until 6:15 p.m. EST displaying various confederate flags and waving to motorists as they entered and exited the gates of the power plant.
The 35-year old plant includes on its grounds the Old Yellow Dirt Baptist Church Cemetery. One of the protesters, Billy Bearden, told HeardCitizen.com on site that they were attempting to raise awareness among plant employees about the situation regarding the removal of Confederate Flags by unknown employees of Georgia Power that were placed on seven graves of deceased Confederate Veterans in the cemetery.
Georgia Power has since allowed the replacement of the flags as they attempt to investigate land ownership of the property which includes the cemetery. The cemetery is located directly on Georgia Power grounds and requires entrance through the plant security gates.
Bearden carried the largest flag, a 6′ x 9′ version, and told us that they received only waves and thumbs up from the large majority of passers by.
He noted that a few actually pulled over to take pictures with their cell phone cameras. Bearden was joined by James and Pam Tolbert as well as Steve Monk who traveled from Jasper, GA to protest. “The one thing we need to ask Georgia Power is if they are ashamed of our Confederate veterans?” stated James Tolbert. When asked if he considered himself to be a racist, Bearden replied that he did not. He then told us that there are actually several African-American members of his organization.
While HeardCitizen.com was on site, Carroll County Deputy Michael Denney arrived to question the group about why they were there and what they were doing.
After Bearden explained the situation, Officer Denney left the scene. When we asked Officer Denney had he been called to the protest, he replied that he had not and was only making his routine patrol of the area which is near a dead-end road.
HeardCitizen.com originally became aware of this story through local Heard County resident Walter Webb, whose great-grandfather, J.P. Shelnutt, is one of the deceased Confederate veterans in the cemetery.
We were able to capture short interviews with Bearden and Monk before we left the scene. Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for further information on this story as it becomes available.