On September 5, the State of Georgia announced the indictment of 61 activists on racketeering (RICO) charges for participating in protests against the building of a cop training center in a forest in Atlanta. The prosecutors are using these charges to smear the “Defend the Atlanta Forest” movement as a criminal enterprise, and anyone who supports it a “conspirator.” The charges, carrying a possible 20-year sentence, are an escalation of a months-long campaign of state repression and intimidation. Last January, cops attacking a protest encampment gunned down 26-year-old activist Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán in a hail of over 57 bullets. Protesters have repeatedly been charged with “domestic terrorism,” and in May the cops raided the residence of solidarity defense fund organizers, arresting them for “money laundering.” We demand: Drop all the charges!
The Partisan Defense Committee has donated $1,000 to the Atlanta protesters’ legal defense and encourages others to donate at: actionnetwork.org/fundraising/contribute-to-the-atlanta-solidarity-fund.