MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- About 50 demonstrators, in town for a national meeting of the League of the South, lined up last week here in front of the Civil Rights Memorial to protest the Southern Poverty Law Center. Its office is directly across the street from the Memorial.
Men, women and children brandished Confederate and southern state flags and held up signs denouncing the Center and its founder Morris Dees. One man held placards in each hand, one declaring "The SPLC is a hate group" and the other "Morris Dees is a scalawag."
"Scalawag" is the derogatory term for white Southerners who supported the reconstruction governments after the American Civil War.
A teenaged girl holding a pair of Confederate flags raced up and down the sidewalk in front of the Memorial's solemn black wall. On a street corner, League supporters placed a pink toilet with jeans-clad legs protruding from its bowl. An adjacent sign read, "Flush the SPLC."
Among the protestors was Michael Tubbs, a former Green Beret demolitions expert who served time for stealing military weapons. He is an avowed Aryan revolutionary who officials say had drawn up lists targeting newspapers, television stations and businesses owned by blacks and Jews.
Four years ago, the Center's Intelligence Report exposed the League as increasingly rife with white supremacists and racist ideology. Since then, the magazine has continued to report on the neo-Confederate movement's growing influence. The Report's current issue links many Southern politicians to hate groups like the League and the Council of Conservative Citizens.