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Wed May 22, 2024, 08:54 AM May 22

How to Criminalize a Protest [View all]


Cop City immediately became one of the first major tests of the post-Floyd political order. People had spent 2020 begging for an end to abusive policing. The city responded the next year with a massive expansion of the police state. And the project’s biggest supporters — a slate of power brokers that ranged from the mayor’s office to the corner offices at Home Depot and Delta Airlines — envisioned the facility as a national model and hub where cops from all over could travel to refine their tactics.

Protesters from around the country trickled into the city only to be faced with what had grown to be the most aggressive crackdown on activism the U.S. had seen in decades — a forerunner of the harsh police actions that have featured so prominently in the recent campus protests against the war in Gaza. Mass arrests became commonplace in Atlanta. Criminal penalties for protesting got harsher. Officials smeared dissidents as “violent agitators,” language Jim Crow politicians had used, and let them languish in deadly jails. In the four short years since Floyd’s death, local and state leaders — Black and white, Democrat and Republican — have turned the cradle of the civil-rights movement, where Martin Luther King Jr. used to preach and John Lewis coined the term good trouble, into what one protester described to me as “one of the worst cities in America for activism.”

The main expression of this crackdown has been a spate of charges that equate protesters with some of the country’s most notorious villains — people like John Gotti and Timothy McVeigh. Forty-two have been charged with domestic terrorism and 61 with racketeering and conspiracy. Prosecutors have argued that there is a direct line between the Floyd uprising and the unrest at Cop City, bringing the story of that hopeful summer of 2020 to its dispiriting conclusion and making clear what Roberts and others have suspected all along: that in the state’s eyes, those who took to the streets to demand racial equality and justice were merely criminals who hadn’t yet been punished.
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How to Criminalize a Protest [View all] WhiskeyGrinder May 22 OP
This Affair Is An Outrage The Magistrate May 22 #1
K&R Solly Mack May 22 #2
It brings to mind Goddessartist May 22 #3
midmorning kick WhiskeyGrinder May 22 #4
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