Alan of the No Nazi Newnan defendants
was convicted on a mask charge and obstruction (for failing to remove the mask). He got 2 years probation, $2,644 in fines, and 240 hours of community service; much harsher than if he had taken a plea deal.
Masks protect anti-fascists from retaliation by white supremacists who frequently find our identities and threaten or attack us. But the mask law is a favorite of police for arresting protesters merely for expressing their views. In the trial, police testified that they had set out to arrest masked protesters that day. Some of the reasons they listed for why they felt that the demonstration was a threat were standard free speech activities: protesters had full backpacks and signs with sticks attached, chanted anti-police messages, and moved as a group. No one testified that they saw Alan do anything, but the jury apparently decided that his presence at the protest was enough to constitute an intent to intimidate.
Alan hopes to appeal all the way up and get the mask law overturned. Someone had to get convicted in order to do that, so he is taking one for the team. The numerous court dates, probation visits, etc. take a heavy toll in many ways including financially--through travel, expenses, missed work, filing fees and more. Your support will help him keep fighting and will mean a lot!