So about that Justin Bieber protest in Buckhead...
Who holds a protest at 6 a.m.?
- Perry Julien
- 'I have to come to Lenox to free you all'
Tomorrow at 6 a.m., a group of residents called the "Buckhead Neighborhood Coalition" is expected to protest on Blackland Road, home to some of the city's most expensive houses, outside the multi-million dollar manse Justin Bieber allegedly wants to buy. The mysterious group expressed concerns about the pop star's move to the community. It hoped supporters would "not allow a child to ruin what we have worked so hard to obtain."
News of the event has been reported far and wide, including stories in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CNN, and the Daily Mail. It's quite hilarious, really, to imagine well-to-do homeowners fearful of the new neighbor. And ridiculous to think they could decide who buys a home on their street.
But the more I read about what's being planned the more I feel that something is... off. Here's why:
- There is an organization called the Buckhead Coalition. The business and community booster is led by former Mayor Sam Massell, who was mistakenly identified in an 11 Alive report as the head of the group organizing the protest. And there is a Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods. But no one I've talked to in the neighborhood has ever heard of the "Buckhead Neighborhood Coalition." Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood says she's not familiar with the group. "The protest is not associated with the Buckhead Coalition or the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods," BCN President Tom Tidwell told me today in an email.
- The group was started by "Harold White" who calls himself a longtime resident. CNN talked to him. There's a record of a late-1990s condemnation case related to Ga. Hwy. 400 construction fought against the Georgia Department of Transportation by a "Harold S. White, Jr." who lives in the general area.
- The group only joined Facebook on Feb. 19. It's posted about nothing except tomorrow's protest. It also has a Twitter account. It's only tweeted about tomorrow's event. As noted by this eagle-eyed blogger, the group's very first tweet was shared by two interns affiliated with the Regular Guys. One of them denied to me via Twitter being behind the protest. He did, however, "find the story humorous and interesting."
- Finally, who schedules a protest at 6 a.m. on a residential street?
Maybe it's all legit and a genuine show of concern by a large number of residents. But good God, 6 a.m.?