Antifa members first converged on the training center in the summer of 2021, declaring war on the facility they call “Cop City.” Since then, they are refusing to leave their “Defend the Forest Autonomous Zone”, located near the facility, or to end their violent protest to force authorities to halt construction of the facility.
In a weekend confrontation, the “Defend the Forest” mob ran off the outnumbered police officers who were guarding the facility until backup arrived, and then the tasers and handcuffs came out. On Monday, when the Atlanta Police Department announced it is charging 23 defendants with domestic terrorism, a young attorney named Thomas Webb Jurgens, 28, was among the names on the list.
To its credit or its shame, depending on one’s point of view, the Alabama-based SPLC didn’t distance itself from Jurgens. He was there as a “legal observer” with the National Lawyer’s Guild, the organization said, and his arrest is not “evidence of any crime.”
In that same statement, the SPLC said the lawyer is the victim of “heavy-handed law enforcement intervention against protesters.”
It is not known where Jurgens is in that crowd, since his role as "legal observer" means he was likely present.
There is also video footage of the attackers changing out of their black clothing after the attack. It is not known if Jurgens wore normal civilian clothes as an "observer" or if he blended in by wearing a mask and the now-common "black bloc" outfit, too.
In video footage from the attack, a mob estimated at 200 “protesters” can be seen sneaking up on police officers who were guarding the facility. The outnumbered police officers can be seen fleeing while radioing for backup, and some officers were attempting to lock gates for their own protection while fireworks exploded around them.
At a bond hearing Tuesday, only one of the defendants – Jurgens – was released on a $5,000 bond. The other remaining defendants were denied bond because most of them are from out of state, and some are from overseas, and pose a flight risk.
Tim Graham of Media Research Center tells AFN it was curious to witness the mainstream media cover spin the story of a mob attacking police officers.
“The protesters in this case are not presented as radical, as far left,” he says. “They don't want to acknowledge anything about the Southern Poverty Law Center attorney because that's deeply embarrassing.”
Among any journalist reporting on Antifa, Post Millennial writer Andy Ngo has become an expert on the terrorist group and its tactics and leadership. On Wednesday, he reported Antifa was holding a “direct-action” protest at the Dekalb County Jail to free their “comrades” who are being held there.