By John Friend
While federal prosecutors and judges continue their politicized prosecution of conservative activists, Trump supporters, and other patriots who participated in the rowdy protests at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, law enforcement officials in Georgia and the state’s attorney general have announced a massive indictment against a network of far-left radicals and terrorists.
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Finally, some semblance of justice may be served to those on the radical left, who have engaged in a reign of terror in America in recent years almost entirely without consequences.
Numerous activists associated with Defend the Atlanta Forest have been indicted by a grand jury in Fulton County, Ga. for violating the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
The state’s indictment names 61 separate “militant anarchists, eco-
activists, and community organizers” associated with Defend the Atlanta Forest, which is described in the indictment as an “anarchist, anti-police, and environmental activism organization” based in Atlanta that “coordinates, advertises, and conducts ‘direct action’ designed to prevent the construction” of the Atlanta Police Public Safety Training Center.
The radical network of militants and activists was formed in 2020 following the death of George Floyd and quickly began its disruptive, violent, and criminal “direct action” against the facility, law enforcement officers, and other contractors engaged in construction of the training center.
For months, the radical activists have protested at the site of the future facility, which sits on 381 forested acres in DeKalb County, Ga. The property is owned by the Atlanta Police Foundation and is leased by the City of Atlanta for the purposes of constructing the training facility, which the radical militants refer to as “Cop City” and claim is an “autonomous zone.”
The planned $90 million facility will house one of the largest law enforcement training centers in the state, prompting Antifa and other far-left activists to squat on the property to prevent construction and protest organized policing more generally. Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and the Atlanta Police Foundation have argued that the facility “will have a much-needed modernizing effect on the police force” and will also be used to “offer training capacity to the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and the city’s 911 center,” according to “11Alive.com,” a leading local news outlet in the Atlanta area.
The protests have often resulted in numerous violent clashes with law enforcement near the future training facility and also at other law enforcement facilities. For instance, in July 2020, members of the group attacked the Department of Public Safety headquarters “by throwing rocks and hurling a Molotov cocktail through the window, resulting in the injury of two employees and the building catching fire,” according to a press release issued by Georgia’s Republican Attorney General, Chris Carr.
Over the course of the past two years, the radical activists and terrorists have continued to use Molotov cocktails as well as fireworks, glass bottles, and other means to terrorize and assault officers and others associated with the facility. On other occasions, they have caused “damage to buildings and construction equipment, including excavators and bulldozers, owned by contractors associated with the project and then claimed responsibility for the destruction,” the press release notes.
In a separate incident, “defendants committed arson and property damage and attempted to break into 191 Peachtree, where the offices of the Atlanta Police Foundation and other businesses are located.” Members and supporters of the radical, far-left group have harassed and violently assaulted officers while attempting to sabotage contractors working on the facility.
All 61 named defendants have been charged with RICO violations, while several other defendants are facing separate charges relating to domestic terrorism, attempted arson in the first degree, and money laundering. Earlier this year, a lawyer connected to the increasingly discredited Southern Poverty Law Center named Thomas Jurgens, who also acted as a “legal observer” on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild at some of the violent protests initiated by the group, was arrested on charges related to domestic terrorism, a story AFP reported on in issue 11/12, 2023. Jurgens was one of the 61 individuals recently indicted by the grand jury on RICO charges brought by the state of Georgia.
“As this indictment shows, looking the other way when violence occurs is not an option in Georgia,” Carr said when announcing the indictments.
If you come to our state and shoot a police officer, throw Molotov cocktails at law enforcement, set fire to police vehicles, damage construction equipment, vandalize private homes and businesses, and terrorize their occupants, you can and will be held accountable. We will not waver when it comes to keeping people safe, enforcing the rule of law, and ensuring those who engage in criminal activity are vigorously pursued and aggressively prosecuted.
Only 13 of the named 61 defendants are actually from Georgia, according to law enforcement officials.
“We are not Oregon. We are not California. We are not Washington,” Carr powerfully declared on his official X account, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “You cannot come to our state, break our laws, throw rocks at buildings, damage property, and shoot police officers. You can and you will be charged, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Although the Department of Justice, FBI, and federal law enforcement more broadly appear to be entirely politicized and weaponized against former President Trump, his MAGA movement, and right-wing populists and political dissidents in general, state officials have the ability, authority, and indeed the duty to enforce the law and hold far-left radicals accountable for their criminal actions.
The state of Georgia’s massive, well-researched, and justifiable indictment of the criminals associated with the violence and sabotage directed against the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center and other locations is a very welcome development to all patriots concerned about the weaponization and politicization of the rule of law in America, particularly under the current regime.