Five people were arrested Tuesday as part of a long-running protest over plans to build a public safety training facility on the outskirts of Atlanta.
The GBI noted that criminal activity at the site has included “carjacking, various crimes against persons, destruction of property, arson, and attacks against public safety officials.”
After police made arrests they found explosive devices, road flares and gasoline at the site.
“The same tactics that [police] are using against forest defenders are the same tactics that the Israeli gov’t is using against Palestinians…The same tactics that the US military is employing in Africa through the AFRICOM program.” pic.twitter.com/ujO7GFLFgf
— nolan (@nhuberrhoades) December 15, 2022
The GBI said Francis Carroll, 22, of Maine was charged with criminal trespass, domestic terrorism, aggravated assault, felony obstruction, interference with government property and possession of tools for the commission of the crime.
Nicholas Olson, 25, of Nebraska, was charged with domestic terrorism, aggravated assault, interference with government property and obstruction. Serena Hertel, 25, of California, was charged with criminal trespass, domestic terrorism, aggravated assault, obstruction and inciting a riot. Leonardo Vioselle, 20, of Macon, Georgia, was charged with criminal trespass, domestic terrorism, and possession of tools of the crime. Arieon Robinson, 22, of Wisconsin was charged with and criminal trespass, obstruction and domestic terrorism.
5 arrested at the #Antifa autonomous zone in south Atlanta hit w/domestic terrorism charges. Police found a cache of explosives. Leading up to the raid, militants tried to burn a man to death in a car. Their group is using Twitter to raise cash, @elonmusk. https://t.co/U4eGsdWJ8W
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) December 15, 2022
The day after the arrests, the group supporting those arrested posted defiant messages on Twitter of a protest outside the jail where those arrested were held.
video update from the jail noise demo 💞🎆 pic.twitter.com/AMj5u3GxWD
— Defend the Atlanta Forest (@defendATLforest) December 14, 2022
“Since June 2021, antifa and other far-left extremists from across the US have descended on the location,” he wrote, adding that occupation of what antifa has dubbed an autonomous zone “has been growing since at least January, terrorizing nearby residents, law enforcement and construction workers.”
— alissa azar (@AlissaAzar) December 15, 2022
Ngo’s report said that in May, eight arrests were made after police were assaulted. He noted that the Atlanta protests are attracting antifa members from around the nation.
Last month, Richard Porter, an auto mechanic from Dallas, Georgia, had found his way to the site looking for an item to refurbish, according to WXIA-TV.
Porter stopped his vehicle, “and then these people started coming out of the woods in camouflage stuff and blocked me in.”
Why is one of the largest police training facilities in the U.S. being built in a majority-Black neighborhood in Atlanta?
We go inside the movement to resist “Cop City.” pic.twitter.com/nKryRvVr5d
— AJ+ (@ajplus) December 15, 2022
Attackers set fire to his truck, he said.
“Had no idea what was going on out there,” Porter said.
The proposed training facility is being built on the site of a former prison farm, according to CNN. As proposed the $90 million center, which would take up 85 acres, would include a shooting range, mock city and other facilities to support advanced public safety training.
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