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Emory Dan Roberts, 67, who was one of four militia members arrested yesterday in a wide-ranging terrorism plot, was also a neo-Confederate activist who has rubbed elbows with hate group leaders.
In 2003, Roberts helped organize a protest in Toccoa, Ga., against attempts to change the Georgia state flag, which at that time featured the Confederate battle flag in its design. The flag was replaced in 2003 by referendum.
Roberts’ “Georgia State Flag Rally” had on the bill prominent members of neo-Confederate hate groups. One of the speakers listed was Nelson Waller, a South Carolinian who has been a member of the hate groups Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which believes “mixing the races is rebelliousness against God,” and the League of the South (LOS), a secessionist organization. League leader Jack Kershaw once opined, “Somebody needs to say a good word for slavery.”
Waller told Hatewatch that Roberts was a “good friend” and that the allegations were likely a “trumped up charge.” He said Roberts was a “staunch ally” in the battle for the former Georgia flag and that he was glad Roberts was involved in a militia. “We need more of that,” he said.
Also on tap that day was Mike Crane, an LOS member who is also a lifetime member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), an organization made up of the male descendants of confederate soldiers that has been infiltrated at the highest levels by members of hate groups. H.K. Edgerton, a black neo-Confederate who argues slavery was good for his people, also spoke.
In 2004, Roberts was the organizer of pro-confederate flag rally that took place outside a middle school in Stephens County, Ga. The rally included several protestors carrying Confederate flags. Law enforcement officers were called in as a safety precaution, and a rock was allegedly thrown at a school bus. One of Roberts’ fellow protestors, Larry Leitgeb, was arrested.