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Atlanta’s Democratic Mayor Andre Dickens called the Antifa demonstrations last Saturday violent and criticized politicians who do not condemn those who promoted them.
“The crimes range from violence to domestic terrorism to assault battery and some other things. But yes, it is violent when someone turns to burn down a police car or breakout windows or have explosives on them. I don’t get into the names. I don’t know all the organizations. I’ll let y’all decide who did it. I just know they’re arrested. And if they come into Atlanta, again, to wreak havoc, they will be arrested again,” the mayor said during an interview on CBS.
Dickens also gave an update on the protests in response to the death of environmental activist Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, 26.
According to Fox News, Paez Teran went by the name Tortuguita, identified himself as non-binary and used they/it pronouns. “Authorities said Teran first shot and wounded a state trooper tasked with clearing protesters from the construction site of a new public safety training center,” the news outlet reported.
On the situation, Dikens explained that the protests turned violent and that several of the demonstrators had explosives, burned police vehicles and broke the windows of several businesses.
“Our police department, along with our state and federal partners, took swift action within two blocks and brought that situation under control,” the Democratic mayor assured.
He also detailed that the violent individuals were detained and the corresponding legal process has been complied with. He said that, after the action of the authorities, the violence ceased in the city.
“And the violence stopped, and those six individuals were arrested. And it should be noted that these individuals were not Atlanta or Georgia residents. Most of them traveled into our city to wreak havoc. And so, we love to support people when they’re doing right, peaceful protest is a part of the American — our freedoms, but when you are violent, we will make sure that you get held accountable,” he said.
Media reports have recorded that at least five Antifa members are in custody on domestic terrorism charges after they protested outside a police training center under construction.