(New York Post) They present themselves as rebels against the system, fighting to preserve a piece of local woodland.
Yet many of the terrorist suspects arrested and charged over occupying government property and the violent attack in downtown Atlanta on Saturday are children of pampered privilege from out of state.
Hundreds of far-left activists, including Antifa, had gathered on Saturday evening at the Five Points neighborhood in downtown Atlanta to protest the death of their comrade who died in a shootout with police earlier in the week at an occupation south of the city.
On Jan. 18, Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, of Tallahasse, Fla., shot and severely injured a Georgia State Patrol trooper at the so-called “autonomous zone” before being killed by return fire from police. The 18-month occupation is at the heart of the “Stop Cop City” movement to shut down the construction of the future Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, a proposed training site for law enforcement and first responders. They hate it because it’s a police center, but also claim that they are protecting a forest.
Hundreds of far-left activists gathered on Saturday evening at the Five Points neighborhood in downtown Atlanta to protest the death of Manuel Esteban Paez Teran.REUTERS
At Saturday’s gathering, masked militants dressed head to toe in black marched in the streets, shouting: “If you build it, we will burn it.”
They then smashed up businesses, cars and the Atlanta Police Foundation building. An Atlanta police cruiser was set on fire with an explosive. Livestream videos recorded at the scene showed the violent extremists working in an organized manner, such as using a large vigil banner to hide the rioters who torched the vehicle and grabbing large rocks from a shared bag to use as projectiles.
Some of those arrested represent the sort of professional leftist agitators who have popped up across the country after George Floyd’s death:
Francis Carroll, 22, of Maine
Francis Carroll is the son of a yacht-sailing, multimillionaire family.
Carroll was already out on bail for a domestic terrorism arrest at the Atlanta autonomous zone last month. He is the son of a yacht-sailing, multimillionaire family and hails from the wealthy Maine city of Kennebunkport, also home to former President George W. Bush.
Carroll, who lived in his parents’ mansion before going to Atlanta, was among six people arrested and charged with domestic terrorism, aggravated assault and other crimes on Dec. 13 following a string of property attacks around the area, a carjacking and assaults on officers. They were all bailed out by activists who crowdfunded their legal defense using Twitter.
Madeleine “Henri” Feola, 22, of Spokane, Wash.
Madeleine “Henri” Feola is originally from the wealthy Portland, Ore., suburb of Happy Valley.
Feola is a trans nonbinary activist and 2022 alumna of Oberlin College, where they studied archaeological studies with a focus on decolonization. They’re from the wealthy Portland, Ore., suburb of Happy Valley before relocating to Spokane, Wash. Feola authored a February 2022 blog post on the American Scientist titled, “It’s Time to Stop Gatekeeping Medical Transition.”
Emily Kathryn Murphy, 37, of Gross Isle, Mich.
Emily Kathryn Murphy says her own family “doesn’t fully understand what being vegan means.”
Murphy is a middle-class vegan activist who previously served as the at-large chair for the Chicago chapter of Al Gore’s “Climate Reality Project” organization before becoming further radicalized into eco-ideology. “I have been vegan five and a half years now, and, no matter how much explaining I do, my own family still doesn’t fully understand what being vegan means,” Murphy complained once in a blog post for the group.
Ivan James Ferguson, 23, of Henderson, Nev.
Ferguson is a 23-year-old award-winning, classically trained clarinetist from Henderson, Nev., who studied at the prestigious San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Before becoming radicalized, Ferguson regularly performed in classical concerts in California and Nevada.
They’ve each been charged with felony domestic terrorism, felony interference with government property, felony first-degree arson, felony second-degree criminal damage, riot, unlawful assembly, willful obstruction of a law enforcement officer and pedestrian in roadway.
At an emergency press conference following the riot, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens revealed a shocking discovery: “Some of them were found with explosives on them. You heard that correctly, explosives.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies have tried multiple times to end the violent occupation of the woods. Yet militants have regrouped and continued to occupy the area, heeding the call shared on anarchist sites for comrades to “defend the Atlanta forest.” At the first police raid in May 2022, police were met with Molotov cocktails. The GBI also said it found gas masks and edged weapons in the raid.
During the protest, an Atlanta police cruiser was set on fire with an explosive.FOX 5
Among the previous arrests were more privileged protesters: