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The Georgia Attorney General’s Office has filed RICO Act violation costs in opposition to protesters preventing to stop the construction of the police training facility often called “Cop City” in Atlanta’s South River Forest.

The costs of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations had been filed Tuesday, Sept. 5, in Fulton County Superior Court, with 61 folks named. The full indictment hasn’t been launched but, nevertheless it’s anticipated to be made public right this moment. (The Georgia Attorney General’s Office didn’t instantly return Rolling Stone’s request for remark.)

The RICO costs mark one other important improve in strain from state officers seeking to crack down on these advocating in opposition to the the $90 million, 85-acre police coaching facility. As the Atlanta Community Press Collective — an area group overlaying the Stop Cop City motion and different autonomous teams — famous on Twitter, most of the folks charged with RICO Act violations had been beforehand hit with home terrorism costs earlier this 12 months over their opposition to Cop City.

Additionally, money laundering charges had been introduced in opposition to organizers of the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, which helps arrested protesters with jail help and authorized illustration. And capping all of it off, the ACPC noted that three folks indicted on RICO costs had been beforehand arrested for merely passing out flyers earlier this 12 months.

As Rolling Stone reported last year, the Stop Cop City motion is essentially being led by a free band of environmentalists and anarchists underneath the banner, Defend the Atlanta Forest. Since Cop City was authorised in 2021, many protesters have actually camped out within the South River Forest, aiming to disrupt and cease the development of the power by any means mandatory. 

In response, authorities mounted two raids on the protesters, in Dec. 2022 and Jan. 2023, which led to the arrest of dozens of protesters. Many had been hit with terrorism costs, although their arrest data confirmed they dedicated no particular crimes apart from misdemeanor trespassing. During the Jan. 18 raid, the police additionally killed a protester, Manuel “Torguguita” Teran. While the Georgia Bureau of Investigation claims Teran shot first, protesters have disputed this declare, noting there’s no physique digital camera footage of, or civilian witnesses to, Teran’s killing. 


Following Teran’s loss of life, the Stop Cop City motion took to the streets in Atlanta, prompting Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to problem a state of emergency declaration and call in the Georgia National Guard. Many of these arrested had been hit with home terrorism costs, a tactic authorities have continued to use to snuff out demonstrations.

Several months later, in March, a authorized observer and legal professional with the Southern Poverty Law Center was amongst 40 folks charged with domestic terrorism throughout a March protest. In June, a legal challenge was brought in opposition to the state’s use of its home terrorist statute in opposition to protesters, arguing it was a free speech violation.

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