Things are heating up in Atlanta and I’m not talking about global warming. While the rest of the country is under assault from a spate of huge pro-Hamas antisemitic protests, activists in Georgia are in their second year of protesting a new police and firefighter training center outside of Atlanta that protesters have dubbed “Cop City.” Perhaps jealous of all of the attention that the Palestinian protests have been receiving, the Atlanta groups are ramping up their protests in both size and violence. Yesterday a crowd of hundreds showed up at the construction site, which is a sizable number when you consider we’re talking about suburban DeKalb County (population approximately 750,000). But it wasn’t simply the number of protesters that was alarming. It was how they were prepared. Many were not just masked, but wearing goggles and chemical suits. They came prepared to face down the cops at close quarters, and they did. (AP)
Police used tear gas and flash-bang grenades Monday to halt a march against building an Atlanta-area police and firefighter training center that opponents call “Cop City.”
More than 400 people marched about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from a park to the site in suburban DeKalb County, chanting “stop Cop City” and “Viva, viva Tortuguita,” invoking the nickname of an activist who was fatally shot by state troopers while camping in the woods in protest earlier this year.
A wedge of marchers, including some in masks, goggles and chemical suits intended to protect against tear gas, pushed into a line of officers in riot gear on a road outside the training center site. Officers pushed back and deployed tear gas. One protester threw a canister back at officers.
Here’s some of the daytime action capture by AP reporters. Things became even more violent later on.
See for yourself how the protesters dressed as well as the signs that they were carrying. This was not a group of people gathering to raise their voices and attempt to sway public opinion. They were dressed for a violent confrontation. There were signs we might recognize from 2020, calling not for the defunding of the police, but to “abolish the police.”
When the cops deployed their riot shields and formed a line, the rioters charged and smashed into the shields with their signs. When the police were compelled to deploy tear gas, rioters in chemical suits and gas masks picked the canisters up and threw them back at the cops. Some arrests were made and the protesters were eventually dispersed, but this was more than a confrontation. It was a battle. And if their army gets any larger, the police are going to need some serious backup to keep the situation under control.
Amazingly, all of this is being done over a training facility, not a new police station or some sort of military installation. It’s also where they will train firefighters. Who do these idiots think will show up to put out a fire at their house if their rioting friends send it up in flames? Why would the newly trained police come rushing to your rescue when you dial 911 if you behave like this in response to the construction of what is essentially a pair of academies? None of it makes any sense.
Between this and all of the anti-Israel riots, I’ve found myself increasingly wondering lately where all of these people find the time to launch protests of this size, particularly on weekdays. Do any of you have jobs? Is my employer failing to offer a particular number of paid “protest days” per year that the rest of you are somehow getting in addition to the normal holidays, vacation, and sick time? All of this activity in the streets is increasingly resembling a serious case of societal breakdown, and the violence against law enforcement is one of the most worrisome symptoms. It really needs to be brought under control.