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A week of discord between ANTIFA members and local authorities in Atlanta came to a head Saturday evening after ANTIFA called for a "Night of Rage" to descend upon the city in response to the police shooting of 26-year-old activist Manuel Teran, who was killed Wednesday night by local authorities.
In the weeks leading up to the shooting, ANTIFA members had taken an autonomous zone at the site of the future Atlanta Public Safety Training Center. "Defend Atlanta Forest" was the faction of the group that was occupying the autonomous zone.
According to Michael Register, Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, a firefight began on January 18 between Teran and troopers when Teran fired at authorities in response to a verbal directive calling for him to exit the tent he was camping in. Georgia State Patrol Troopers then opened fire, which resulted in the fatal shooting of Teran and the wounding of a trooper. Four additional ANTIFA members were also arrested and charged with domestic terrorism and aggravated assault on a public safety officer.
After the firefight and arrests, ANTIFA immediately declared that Friday, January 20th, would be a "Night of Rage" meant as retribution for Teran and those arrested.
The protestors took to the Scenes from the Atlanta Forest account and tweeted a violent call to action, writing, "On Friday, January 20th, wherever you are, you are invited to participate in a night of rage in order to honor the memory of our fallen comrade. The protestors, who call themselves forest defenders, are claiming that the police have 'murdered' one of their own and are demanding 'action.'"
While Friday evening came and went peacefully without any protests or demonstrations, things took a violent turn Saturday evening.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Underground Atlanta and then took to Peachtree Street in the heart of downtown. Not long after the demonstration began, ANTIFA members set a police car on fire and began smashing the windows of local businesses.
In an effort to deflect from the violent actions of its members, a group closely related to ANTIFA named "Stop Cop City" released a statement blaming the police for slaying a 'forest defender' and trashing camps, saying:
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 miltary gear into our city to wage war on black and brown folks. The police have raided the forest for over 7 months, destroying material by trashing camps and water supplies, threatened the lives of forest defenders and now have murdered one. Protstors are only leveling hte 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.
Meanwhile, Fulton County residents called on Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to stop allowing the WEF, corrupt politicians, and others to allow soft-on-crime policies to destroy Georgia cities, with one of them writing:
Good evening Governor Kemp,
I write to you with helicopters hovering over my neighborhood as Antifa attacks with a night of terror in Atlanta.
So very interesting that Antifa attacks the building home to the Commerce Club where Brad Raffensperger (Democrat in sheep's clothing) hotsted in October fundraiser where Frank Luntz spoke maligning Georgia populism, promoting rank choice voting.
Thank you for your commitment to support law enforcement. We cannot be soft on crime. These criminals must go to jail for a long time, not be back on the streets to kill "cops" tomorrow. Criminals cannot own Atlanta. I spoke with an APD officer this week who said there wer bear traps and IEDs in teh woods at Cop City. Fanny Willis must start doing her job - stop the Trump witch hunt. He is only a danger to those who are corrupt. Like Trump, hate Trump - he is not our enemy. ONly fools believe that storyline. WEF globalists seek to destroy the middle class, families, faith, freedom, our borders, our economy, our elections. Antifa are their henchman following the Rules for Radicals playbook. Our legislators' loyalty should be to their voting base alone, not to you ro ranyone else who would punish them like Nancy Pelosi does to keep Democrats in line. Senator Albers doxing Senator Still this week was shameful! Stay in line boy or we'll punish you. Albers is the weakest senator in the majority. He is loyal to you bu tdisloyal to his constitutent. Those who voted yes or didn't vote on SIne Die showed loyalty to you, but not to the people of Georgia. Dugan is weak, Gooch is weak, Thompson was weak, Cowsert is weak (your brother-in-law, of course), Tillery is weak, Strickland is weak, Burke is weak, Kennedy is weak... Georgia GOP under your leadership is ruled by a four-letter word - SELF.
You have been trusted with divine authority. You will be judged not by your political victories, but your commitment to truth adn justice in God's economy. Don't be a whore of the WEF. Ally with DeSantis to promote freedom, truth and justice - leave the state stronger than you found it, not a model of executive authoity ruling by consent decree.
Kemp, on the other hand, issued a standard response claiming that the criminals responsible for the mayhem would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Meanwhile, Georgia Attorney General, Chris Carr, publically berated the media on Twitter for referring to the rioters setting fire to Atlanta as "protestors."
In response to Saturday's events, Atlanta Police announced an ongoing investigation into the riots. That investigation has already resulted in multiple arrests. While it is likely that ANTIFA will continue to argue that its members were engaged in "peaceful protests," the police charging rioters under the pertinent domestic terrorism statutes is a marked improvement to combat the criminal and destructive group, but as long as ANTIFA continues to incite riots in American cities, the changing of charges being brought against them may be too little too late.