It has been a tumultuous week in Atlanta, Georgia, as protesters have taken to the streets to rage against the police training center’s construction project, dubbed “Cop City”. But the events that unfolded Wednesday night outside the DeKalb County Jail are what have shocked the nation.
A group of protesters had gathered outside the jail, calling for all charges to be dropped against the 23 people who had been arrested and charged with domestic terrorism following Sunday’s violent demonstration at the construction site.
As the demonstration occurred, individuals inside the jail broke cell windows and threw out lit objects, resulting in a small fire burning on a rooftop ledge. The protesters projected messages such as “Stop Cop City” and “Forest Defense is Self Defense”.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has since argued that Thomas Webb Jurgens, one of the accused, was merely acting as a legal observer on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild when he was arrested. The SPLC believes his arrest is indicative of “heavy-handed law enforcement intervention against protesters”.
This is a story that has been largely ignored by the media and has been pushed under the rug by the Antifa movement. But it is a story that needs to be heard and acknowledged. We cannot allow ourselves to become numb to the violence and chaos that is so often associated with protests like these.
It is time for us to take a stand against crime and for the police. We must not allow protests to go unchecked, and we must not allow domestic terrorism charges to go unquestioned. We must demand justice and accountability from our leaders. We must demand that all charges be dropped against those who were arrested.
BREAKING: Protesters are at the DeKalb County jail and are projecting @defendATLforest / #StopCopCity messages on to the jail. Here is a video of the display. #ATL #NEWS @FOX5Atlanta pic.twitter.com/YB82MngGKD
— Billy Heath III (@BillyHeathFOX5) March 9, 2023
It is time for us to come together as a nation and speak out against violence and crime. We must not forget the importance of protecting our communities and our law enforcement officers. We must do everything we can to ensure that our streets are safe for all.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.