On the morning of May 31st, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Atlanta Police Department raided a house and arrested three staff members of the Atlanta Solidarity Fund. The Atlanta Solidarity Fund is a non profit organization that supports those arrested for protesting or otherwise prosecuted for involvement in social movements. Over the last year, the fund has focused on supporting those arrested for their involvement in the national movement to Stop Cop City, which opposes the construction of what would be the largest police training facility in the US, set to be built over an urban forest in South Atlanta and most notably featuring a ‘mock city’ for urban combat training and riot control.
The solidarity fund has posted bail and offered jail support to those arrested in relation to the movement.
This week’s house raid is just the most recent attack on the struggle to Stop Cop City, which has experienced extreme repression by the state of Georgia this year. In January, an activist opposing the construciton of Cop City, Manuel Terran, also known as Tortuguita, was shot and killed by Georgia State Troopers, with over 57 gunshot wounds. Georgia police have made over 90 arrests in the past two years related to the movement, and 42 of those arrested are being charged with domestic terrorism.
The attempt by Georgia government to attack a nonprofit providing legal support, however, is a new development in this ongoing campaign against Georgian’s civil rights. This is a part of a prosecutorial strategy of characterizing the entirety of Atlanta’s popular Stop Cop City social movement as a terrorist organization. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp released a statement with this week’s raid, promising to “track down every member of a criminal organization, from violent foot soldiers to their uncaring leaders.”
UPDATE: On June 2nd, Judge Altman questioned the prosecution’s basis for the case and granted bond to all three defendants. He said, “I’m concerned about some of the same things that the defense attorney mentions about the line between legitimate free speech and crossing into illegal violent acts… Paying for camping supplies and the like—I don’t find it very impressive. There’s not a lot of meat on the bones of the allegations that thousands of dollars are going to fund illegal activities.”
The National Bail Fund Network is collecting donations for the Atlanta Solidarity Fund on a temporary basis as of May 31, 2023. All funds raised here will be used to support bail and legal defense funds of those being arrested and prosecuted in Atlanta.
More information at bit.ly/localbailfunds