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'Not going to let them win': Anti-Semitic protesters demonstrate at Macon synagogue, fliers appear in Warner Robins neighborhoods

The protesters say they're with the Goyim Defense League, which the Anti-Defamation League calls an extremist group.

MACON, Ga. — A South Florida man is out of jail after being arrested Friday during an antisemitic protest in downtown Macon.

After 13WMAZ interviewed Jon Minadeo II, Bibb deputies arrested him for disorderly conduct and public disturbance. They say he kept shouting obscenities through a bullhorn after he was asked to stop.

The protest started around 4:30 p.m. at Temple Beth Israel in downtown Macon, but protesters from the Goyim Defense League started their day farther south in Warner Robins.

People near Peach Blossom Road woke up to anti-Jewish literature in their front yards Friday.

"We actually had one in the driveway, and one in front of our house at the mailbox," said Tresa Wilson.

Wilson had just gotten home from the bank when her neighbor ran up to her.

"And said, 'Ma'am, please don't touch that bag in your driveway.' And he was on the phone with the police at the time," she remembered.

There were plastic bags with anti-Semitic fliers inside, along with some sort of pellet. Wilson and her husband Joshua thought it was rat poison.

"The first instinct was, 'What about kids? What about animals?' If this is some kind of poison, they could easily get a hold of it," Joshua Wilson said.

Several of Wilson's neighbors caught it all on camera outside their homes. They called the Warner Robins Police Department to investigate. 

Lt. Eric Gossman says they believe the pellets are non-toxic pine pellets to hold the packets down. They appear to be from the Goyim Defense League, which the Anti-Defamation League classifies as an extremist group.

"We want to get people to look into Jewish supremacy. We want people to look into the over-representation in our media," said the group's leader, Jon Minadeo II, outside Temple Beth Israel in Macon.

The Anti-Defamation League says Minadeo leads the group and travels across the country to spread his views.

About 15 people protested outside the temple, shouting what Bibb County deputies call 'obscene language' through a bullhorn. Rabbi Elizabeth Behar was inside at the time.

"We actually have a Torah study that starts at 5:15. So, I already had a student here, ready to learn. I had a couple of people on Zoom already, ready to start learning," she said.

Their Friday night Shabbat service was set to begin at 6:30 p.m. She thought about canceling but used it as a chance to preach about antisemitism.

"Said, 'You know what? We're not going to let them win. This is our night to pray. This is what we do. This is who we are. And so, we're going to pray,'" Behar said.

Neighbors called the Bibb County Sheriff's Office, and deputies eventually closed the protest down. The group had a blow-up doll representing a gay Jewish man hanging by the neck from a street sign.

Mayor Lester Miller says the sign is county property, so the deputies asked the group to remove the doll and leave.

Minadeo was released on a $910 bond around 8 p.m. on Friday.

Lt. Gossman in Warner Robins says if they catch the specific people involved in spreading the fliers near Peach Blossom Road, they'll look at filing charges related to hate speech. Gossman says they reported the fliers to the FBI.

Minadeo, who lives in West Palm Beach, FL, would not confirm whether the people at the protest were the same people who distributed the fliers. He said, "We're everywhere."

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