Atlanta GA: “Stop Cop City” Turns Violent

What started out as a peaceful protest in Atlanta, GA, turned violent Saturday night resulting in six arrests, numerous vandalized businesses, and a police car set on fire. Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said several arrested people do not live in the Atlanta area or Georgia.

Protesters oppose the construction of an APD training center, “Cop City,” and the police related fatal shooting of protester Manuel ‘Tortuguita’ Esteban Paez Teran. Teran did not comply with police orders to leave the area the proposed ‘Cop City’ will exist. Instead, he allegedly shot a Georgia State Patrol trooper in his pelvic area. ‘Tortuguita’  was killed by return fire.

Spokespeople with “Stop Cop City,” who have claimed several times that they are peaceful protesters, released a statement saying they are not backing down and do not believe their actions on Saturday night are violent.

“Destruction of material is fundamentally different from violence. All reported acts appear to be explicitly targeted against the financial backers & goons of the Atlanta Police Foundation, a shady nonprofit that funnels weapons and military gear into our city to wage war on black and brown folks. The police have raided the forest for over seven months, destroying material by trashing camps and water supplies, threatened the lives of forest defenders and now have murdered one. Protestors are only leveling the playing field & preventing future violence by disabling the economic machine of the Atlanta Police Foundation that seeks to sterilize all life within the Weelaunee Forest.”

They later released an amended statement that read:

“What is the proper reaction to police killing Manuel ‘Tortuguita’ Esteban Paez Teran? Destruction of material is fundamentally different from the violence that led to extinguishing someone’s light. We are seeing what we have seen across the country, a community in grief seeking accountability against the financial backers and goons of the Atlanta Police Foundation, a shady nonprofit that funnels weapons and military gear into our city to wage war on Black, Indigenous, Brown and poor folks in the community. The police have evoked violence when they raided the forest for over 7 months, destroying material by trashing camps and water supplies and threatening the lives of forest defenders. It seems the community is trying to disable the economic machine of the Atlanta Police Foundation that seeks to sterilize all life within the Weelaunee Forest to protect the community they love from further violence.“

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