May 31, 2023
Seeking to protect their cash cow, Cop City, Atlanta police have arrested three legal support organizers connected to the Atlanta Solidarity Fund and charged them with “money laundering” and “charity fraud.” This comes less than a week before Atlanta City Council will decide on whether or not to allocate additional millions of taxpayer dollars to fund Cop City.
This move marks a new low for Atlanta police and prosecutors in their descent into totalitarian tactics. Since December, in addition to murdering one protester, they have pressed trumped-up domestic terrorism charges against practically every defendant they have arrested. Now, in order to ensure that defendants in the movement to protect the forest in Atlanta cannot get proper legal defense, they are attacking activists who help to raise bail and provide legal support.
This kind of repression is characteristic of explicitly totalitarian regimes like the government of Vladimir Putin. There are no well-known precedents for pressing such charges against those who raise money for bail funds and legal defense. If this effort succeeds, it could have far-reaching implications for a wide range of forms of activism and solidarity around the United States.