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Nov 10, 20

Report on FBI Raids and Arrests Across Atlanta

Report on how the Atlanta area police are coordinating with federal authorities to conduct repressive operations against the George Floyd Rebellion. Originally published by the Atlanta Anti-Repression Committee.

Atlanta area police are coordinating with federal authorities to conduct repressive operations against the George Floyd Rebellion. Last week, several inter-agency operations resulted in four arrests during multiple house raids. In order to situate these arrests within the context of nationwide crackdowns and repression, and to dispel half-truths and misunderstandings, we are observing the situation closely, and will document some of the initial facts below. As the scope and intent of this repression becomes more clear, we will continue to provide updates and analysis. We do not represent the perspectives of those accused, but we are invested in their freedom.

November 2nd Raids and Arrests

On November 2nd, the East Point Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations raided the homes of three people and arrested them. The FBI, in conjunction with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office have charged the arrestees with arson, and claim the accused are connected to a number of fires in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Initial news coverage failed to reference that the vehicles which the accused are said to have burned were police cruisers. Furthermore, the Atlanta Journal Constitution describes a note left at the scene of the alleged vandalism, claiming the note “referenced political rhetoric”. The Constitution failed to provide any details about that rhetoric, for reasons unknown. At least one of the arrestees has been repeatedly targeted by Atlanta law enforcement for their alleged presence at protests this summer.

November 5th Raids and Arrest

On November 5th, three days after the raids in East Point, the FBI, along with local law enforcement agencies, raided the homes of two others — in Clarkston and Atlanta, respectively — arresting one and questioning the other. The November 5th arrestee is charged with crimes related to the alleged use of an incendiary device. During the raids, law enforcement confiscated a large number of books as well as electronic devices and seemed motivated to procure specific innocuous clothing items, such as shoes and jackets. Agents were in possession of a binder containing screen-shots of a Twitter account they believe belongs to the accused person, and asked about a protest that took place on July 25th outside of the Atlanta ICE Field Office. Both subjects of the November 5th raids refused to answer questions, invoking their right to remain silent and attain legal representation.

Current Status of Arrestees (11/10/2020)

All four arrestees have been denied bond and are being held at Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility in Lovejoy, Georgia, a privately-run facility owned by GEO Group. The facility is contracted to hold Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees as well as those facing federal and state charges. Five defendants from Gainesville, GA who were arrested on June 2nd for their alleged participation in protests have also been held in this facility, only one of them has been released on bond.

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While law enforcement agencies and district attorney’s offices will likely pursue all of these cases separately, we recognize they are connected by the historic wave of protests this summer following the killing of George Floyd Jr. by the Minneapolis Police Department. The media has, regretfully, played their role as a mouthpiece for law enforcement and have contributed to repressive efforts by providing insufficient or depoliticized coverage of these and other instances of harassment and arrest. We are building a platform to track and analyze the repression of the movement and its participants, as we are now subjected to a range of political attacks and maneuvers designed to confuse and intimidate. From the perspective of the state, attacking and confusing the memory of the George Floyd Rebellion is an important factor in preventing future challenges to the racist, authoritarian, system of American politics. Our task, then, will be precisely the opposite: to provide clear political defense of the accused.

If the FBI or any law enforcement agent contacts you at your home, work, or elsewhere, be prepared. Do not answer any questions. Say, “I am going to remain silent. I want to speak to a lawyer. I do not consent to a search.” Follow the guidance outlined in “When the Police Knock on Your Door,” then alert your community so that others are aware.

If you live in the Atlanta metro area, have been contacted by a law enforcement agency and would like support, get in touch with the Atlanta Anti-Repression Committee via email: [email protected]

photo: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

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