A man identified as Frank McDade was part of a group called Project Rise Up that demonstrated in downtown’s Woodruff Park to protest the imprisonment of “wrongly accused” black supremacist cult leader Dwight York.

York, who used scores of different names throughout his career, founded a series of black nationalist groups and cults in New York and elsewhere before moving to Putnam County, Ga., in the early 1990s to set up the Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, which he described as a “sovereign” nation that would be free from the influence of white “devils.” Once there, the Nuwaubians built an Egyptian-themed compound called Tama-Re on a 476-acre piece of land. York was arrested in 2002 on almost 200 counts of child molestation — a number prosecutors reportedly cut back from more than 1,000 simply to make their case more manageable — and ultimately sentenced to 135 years in prison on those charges and for conspiracy and financial crimes.

Despite the claims of the protesters, the evidence against York, who had earlier been investigated for murder in New York, was widely seen as very strong and involved victims of both sexes, some as young as 4 years old. Since York’s imprisonment, the Nuwaubian group has been in sharp decline. Still, Project Rise Up claimed that on the same day as the Atlanta protest, similar demonstrations were held in 14 cities around the United States and Canada. Malik Zulu Shabazz, leader of the black hate group the New Black Panther Party, has described York as “a great leader of our people and … a victim of an open conspiracy.”