Antifa protesters dressed in all black or camouflage and wearing ski masks broke into the construction site for the future Atlanta Public Safety Training Center Sunday night, setting ablaze equipment and built facilities at the location, the dramatic footage released by the Atlanta Police Department showed.
The video posted to Facebook shows nearly 150 rioters entering the site of Atlanta’s so-called future Cop City in Georgia and immediately setting off fireworks near where police were stationed and throwing Molotov cocktails at the construction vehicles and the surrounding area, leaving them on fire.
Other videos posted online showed a police surveillance tower on fire, sending smoke billowing, and flames pouring from equipment – a bulldozer and other pieces of equipment and vehicles – as well as on a section of grass.
The Atlanta Police Department reports that 35 people were arrested during the law enforcement officers and Georgia State Troopers’ clashes with protesters which could now face domestic terrorism charges for violence and crime in Atlanta, as Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr mentioned.
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green also announced in the aftermath she is sponsoring a bill she’ll introduce on Tuesday to declare Antifa a terrorist organization, calling them domestic terrorists.
A large presence of law enforcement officials was visible on Sunday at the training facility in the southeast section of Atlanta with Georgia State Troopers maneuvering their squad cars to keep protesters objecting to the construction of the new facility away from the scene.
Hoping to replace substandard offerings and boost police morale beset by hiring and retention struggles in the wake of the George Floyd protests of 2020, Atlanta City Council approved spending $90 million on the training center in 2021.
The self-described “forest defenders” who oppose the facility started camping out in the section of forest – 85 wooded acres in southwestern DeKalb County on the site of a former prison farm – designated for the “Cop City” in June 2021.
They argue that the development of the training facility they claim will be used to practice “urban warfare” will cause an environmentally damaging loss of trees.
At least 19 protestors – 6 of which came out of a violent riot in downtown Atlanta on Jan. 21 – have been arrested and charged with domestic terrorism in connection to protesting the “Cop City” since December.
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