Atlanta erupted on Saturday night, with police arresting at least six people after a protest over the death of Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, 26, turned violent.
Teran, also known as “Tortuguita,” or “little turtle,” was killed by police on Wednesday after he allegedly ignored authorities and shot at state troopers on the grounds of the new Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, Fox News reports.
If an officer-involved shooting wasn’t enough to inflame the woke mob, Tortuguita reportedly identified as nonbinary and used they/it pronouns. It was a perfect storm that handed Antifa the excuse they crave to riot.
WATCH: Antifa burns police car and smashes store windows downtown Atlanta, Georgia
— Election Wizard 🇺🇸 (@ElectionWiz) January 22, 2023
Many of the protestors “don’t even live in Atlanta or in the state of Georgia,” said City of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. “And they don’t represent the voices of Atlanta.”
“And some of them were found with explosives on them,” he continued. “You heard that correctly. Explosives. And that has led to a police officer’s car being set on fire and other destruction has occurred.”
“Make no mistake about it,” the mayor said, “these individuals meant harm to people and property.”
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens confirms Antifa used explosives during tonight's attacks:
"You heard that correctly, explosives."
— Election Wizard 🇺🇸 (@ElectionWiz) January 22, 2023
Fox5 local reporter Tyler Fingert described the chaotic scene as “very active.”
Protesters marching on downtown Atlanta were “setting off fireworks,” he said, and an Atlanta Police Department vehicle had “multiple windows destroyed.
Fingert said it started as a “very largely peaceful protest” but it took “a little bit of a turn.”
That the protest turned violent should come as no surprise.
“Activists had been camped out on an 85-acre planned facility known as ‘Cop City’ in recent days to protest the planned training center,” Fox News reports. “When Teran was shot and killed after authorities tried to remove the protesters from the plot of land on Wednesday, they vowed to continue their protests.”
More from Fox News:
The Twitter account Scenes from the Atlanta Forest called for a “Night of Rage” to enact “reciprocal violence to be done to the police and their allies,” according to a post.
“Consider this a call for reciprocal violence to be done to the police and their allies. 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 group wrote on Twitter, in an apparent violation of the platform’s terms and conditions.
While the Twitter account now appears to have been taken down, on its website, Scenes from the Atlanta Forest bragged about the destruction it caused.
“On the night of January 20th 2023, 30 mournful anarchists took vengeful action against our enemies for the murder of Cami/Tortuguita in the Atlanta Forest two days prior,” the group writes. “We shattered dozens of windows along the glass facade of a Bank of America building in downtown Oakland, destroyed the ATM’s, and repainted the walls with people’s messages of love, memory, solidarity, and rage at the assassination of our comrade before lighting the place up with molotov cocktails.”
On Saturday evening, Mayor Dickens said, “Atlanta is safe and our police officers have resolved the disruptions downtown from earlier in the evening,” according to Fox. “The City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Police Department will continue to protect the right to peaceful protest. We will not tolerate violence or property destruction.”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp weighed in on Twitter.
“Violence and unlawful destruction of property are not acts of protest. They are crimes that will not be tolerated in Georgia and will be prosecuted fully,” he stated. “Thank you to the hardworking @ga_dps, @GBI_GA, @Atlanta_Police, and others actively keeping our streets safe tonight.”
Violence and unlawful destruction of property are not acts of protest. They are crimes that will not be tolerated in Georgia and will be prosecuted fully.
Thank you to the hardworking @ga_dps, @GBI_GA, @Atlanta_Police, and others actively keeping our streets safe tonight.
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) January 22, 2023
Meanwhile, a group called “Defend the Atlanta Forest” is organizing on Twitter a series of “vigils” across the nation and across the pond in memory of Tortuguita.
The group “held a vigil Wednesday evening at the Little Five Points Square to ‘memorialize the forest defender’ that was ‘murdered by the police,’ it announced on Twitter,” according to Fox News. “‘No one can bring our friend back to us. An innocent life has been taken and the machines continue,’ the group said. ‘We will not go quietly into this dark night.'”
“If Cop City is built, the forest will die. And police from all over the world will come here to train to murder protests,” the group stated on Saturday evening. “But the movement to stop Cop City has become an international movement.”
If Cop City is built, the forest will die. And police from all over the world will come here to train to murder protests.
But the movement to stop Cop City has become an international movement.
(Thread on global protests for the forest, and for Tortuguita.) pic.twitter.com/ggBsphE1xj
— Defend the Atlanta Forest (@defendATLforest) January 22, 2023
Republished with permission from American Wire News Service
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