I had a pretty strong suspicion that when this group called on people to “wear black” it wasn’t just to mourn.
Stop Cop City
1/21 @ 5pm
Underground ATL pic.twitter.com/HFmzPvOeWw
— Defend the Atlanta Forest (@defendATLforest) January 19, 2023
And sure enough Saturday night the gathering quickly turned violent.
Dressed in all black with masks over their faces, activists threw rocks and reportedly lit fireworks in front of a building that houses the Atlanta Police Foundation, shattering large glass windows near Peachtree Street and Andrew Young Boulevard.
Just after 6 p.m., police said they set an Atlanta Police cruiser on fire, smashed the windows of a Wells Fargo bank and vandalized walls with anti-police graffiti in an area that is typically bustling with tourists. The protesters have dubbed the training facility as “Cop City.”
Just before 7 p.m., police said “order has been restored to the downtown space.”
It started out at 5pm, just before dark, with chanting, “Stop Cop City.” After about 45 minutes they started to march.
Demonstrators are now matching from Underground Atlanta through downtown chanting, "No justice, no peace." The protest lasted about 45 minutes before people started marching. Someone is dressed as a tree, as marchers don't want trees cut down for the training center. @11AliveNews pic.twitter.com/yDvCu5zuJ8
— Dawn White (@DawnWhiteNews) January 21, 2023
Within a few minutes of starting to march, someone had set a police cruiser on fire.
— Emily Hanes (@doveproject23) January 22, 2023
Here’s another angle on the burning car.
This might be the same car in the first clip below. As you can see, they are using their banners to hide the criminal activity from cameras. A bit later some antifa goons were smashing ATMs and glass at a Wells Fargo bank (2nd clip below).
Some of the property destruction that occurred shortly after that (maybe 50 yards down the street) pic.twitter.com/piaCV8AaCm
— AntifaWatch (@AntifaWatch2) January 22, 2023
Some clear photos showing the damage at Wells Fargo:
Here are some pictures from the @WellsFargo along Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. A witness tells me a group handed him a stop "cop city" flier, and then he saw them smash several windows. There's still a heavy police presence in the area. @11AliveNews pic.twitter.com/ck5rOYYQYN
— Dawn White (@DawnWhiteNews) January 22, 2023
The targeting of the Wells Fargo isn’t accidental and it’s not just because these protesters are anti-capitalists, though I’m sure they are. It’s also because Wells Fargo is one of the institutions who support the Atlanta Police Foundation.
The Atlanta Police Foundation helped make ATL the most surveilled city in the U.S. with its “Operation Shield" in 2017. Now it is pushing forward the Cop City development.
— LittleSis.org (@twittlesis) January 23, 2023
Gov. Brian Kemp condemned the vandalism and thanked the police.
Violence and unlawful destruction of property are not acts of protest. They are crimes that will not be tolerated in Georgia and will be prosecuted fully.
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) January 22, 2023
I don’t know why members of the media keep embarrassing themselves like this but here’s a mostly peaceful description of the march.
Local news reporter in Atlanta attempts to say the events in Atlanta were a “largely peaceful protest” as a police car burns in the background that was lit on fire by ANTIFA
— Drew Hernandez (@DrewHLive) January 22, 2023
If something is on fire in the background, it was not a “largely peaceful protest.” It was people acting peaceful for 45 minutes until it got dark enough for them to do what they really came to do. Also some additional video of the vandalism last night, this time at the Atlanta Police Foundation
Some more video from Fox5 of the "Largely peaceful protest" pic.twitter.com/4ED84azXDF
— AntifaWatch (@AntifaWatch2) January 22, 2023
The vandalism spree didn’t last very long. Fairly soon police got the streets back under control and made multiple arrests:
ATLANTA ARRESTS: I witnessed @Atlanta_Police make a number of arrests tonight and managed to film two #COPCITY protesters being zip tied and removed from the street. #BREAKING #ATL #PROTEST #NEWS @FOX5Atlanta #ATLANTA pic.twitter.com/RjrVrG376U
— Billy Heath III (@BillyHeathFOX5) January 22, 2023
More arrests and lots of screeching from the arrestees.
Atlanta Police made arrests of the far-left violent extremists who were smashing up cars, businesses & the Atlanta Police Foundation. The rioters' allies in the National Lawyers Guild (green hats) are there to gather evidence to help the criminal suspects. pic.twitter.com/ozIrG7p596
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) January 22, 2023
Police said the group had intended to continue their spree of destruction had they not been stopped.
Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said during a news conference that authorities made six arrests Saturday and recovered explosive devices after the protesters damaged property along Peachtree Street, a corridor of hotels and restaurants. He said authorities halted the violence within two blocks and no citizens or law enforcement officers were injured.
“We can tell now, early in this investigation, this was not the focus tonight just to damage the windows of three buildings and set a police car on fire,” Schierbaum said. “The intent was to continue to do harm, and that did not happen.”
All but one of the people arrested Saturday night were from out of state (and the only person from Georgia wasn’t from Atlanta). So once again, it looks like the blather about what the “local community” wants is cover for people from other parts of the country to come in and use Atlanta as a battleground for their issues. All six were hit with multiple charges including domestic terrorism. Here are the mugshots:
Names & booking photos for those arrested 1/21/23. Chargeshttps://t.co/tclQgvipQe
•Nadja Geier 24,Nashville, TN
•Madeleine Feola 22, Spokane, WA
•Ivan Ferguson 23, Nevada
•Graham Evatt 20, Decatur, GA
•Francis Carrol 22, Kennebunkport, ME
•Emily Murphy 37, Grosse Isle, MI pic.twitter.com/rXOHf2Oh1W
— Atlanta Police Department (@Atlanta_Police) January 22, 2023
One witness interview in this local news clip below described it as being “almost like some third world country type stuff.” I doubt this will be the end of this but I don’t see any plans for more protests at the moment. My guess is that police are going to finish clearing the forest soon before the “forest defenders” have a chance to regroup.