Atlanta: Anti-police rebellion makes cops retreat 4 times

From Anarchist News:

Today, April 9th 2013, there was a riot in Edgewood, a neighborhood northeast of downtown Atlanta. The area is almost entirely residential and is about a year behind in the ongoing gentrification of Atlanta.

Around fifty people gathered for a “March Against the Police” with drums, banners, and a desire for vengeance at the playground in Edgewood Courts, an apartment complex in the back of the neighborhood. Edgewood Courts contains some of the few remaining low income housing units in Atlanta. Yesterday, the police pepper sprayed a group of kids and beat and arrested a man grieving over his lost father.

The march started off slowly — a few people started chanting All cops are bastards / Fuck the police! as drumming began. As the crowd left the complex, some people lined the streets, looking on. People walked up behind the complex toward the front of the neighborhood. As the first cop car approached, more and more people joined in. At first, the crowd seemed apprehensive about what to do, but all of a sudden something clicked. Contrary to most situations, the presence of the police did not act as a deterrent. Instead, the crowd became more excited and angry as the cops approached. A bottle was thrown at a police car and the momentum and joy picked up. What ensued was something that we will never forget. People began kicking the cop car and chased it away when it began to retreat. One pig gone. Cheers and chants filled the air as the crowd, feeling emboldened, decided to keep going.

The riot proceeded away from the Courts and the police started to put more distance between themselves and the crowd. The intensity grew as numbers swelled, fluctuating between 75 and 100+. The crowd blocked off the main entrance to the Courts, refusing to let the police drive down. What happened next could not have been anticipated.

A cop car was stopped at one of the central intersections in Edgewood. People quickly approached the squad car, even going so far as to lean in the window to shout at the cops while others banged on the side of the car. More and more people drew closer, eventually circling the car. Once it was successfully blocked and the pigs inside were intimidated, they tried to leave. The crowd joyfully sent them off with rocks, sticks, and even basketballs to speed the process. People cried out in excitement, leaping into the air for high-fives and hugs. Throughout the event not a single person made a plea for the police. It was clear the police were our common enemy.

On the way back to the apartment complex, people noticed an unmarked car coming toward the crowd up a sidestreet. People immediately responded by running toward the car and letting loose a rainstorm of pebbles, and then rocks, and then bricks. The cops threw their car into reverse and exited the area as fast as they could. Laughing, the crowd ran back down to the Courts and broke apart. A number of cop cars began circling throughout the apartments but left after people continued to throw projectiles, including a hammer, at the cops. Some kids, who had to be under 10, were even letting stones fly at cops.

All in all the police were forced to retreat 4 times — leaving the neighborhood completely. The crowd of people never backed down. An arrest occurred just outside of the neighborhood after the event; it is unclear if it is related.

There’s a war on between the Edgewood residents and the cops, and the conflict is only escalating. Anger and riotous joy is the response to frequent harrassment. The day before this event the police attempted to manage a crowd of people outside the apartment complex and were met with rowdy resistance. Three people were arrested, but not one went down easy. The cops have been upping their patrols around Edgewood recently, but tonight, there aren’t any squad cars on the street.

Mainstream Media Coverage:

“Neighbors throw bricks, hammers at police cars over alleged brutality,” WSB-TV Channel 2 Atlanta – http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/neighbors-throw-bricks-hammers-poli

“APD police crusiers pummeled with bricks during protest,” 11 Alive Atlanta – http://www.11alive.com/news/article/287484/40/Police-crusiers-pummeled-w

“Two Atlanta police cruisers hit by bricks, rocks,” CBS Atlanta – http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/21926610/two-atlanta-police-cruisers-hit

“Protesters throw items at police cars in NE Atlanta,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/protesters-throw-items-at-police-cars

“Residents protest physical arrest in NE Atlanta,” Fox 5 Atlanta – http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/21926137/protester

Background:

“Cop Threatens Kids With Shotgun,” CopWatch footage from March 19th shot at the Edgewood Courts Apartment, Edgewood, Atlanta, GA – http://atlanta.indymedia.org/local/cop-threatens-kids-shotgun

“Poster: War in the Neighborhood,” An image to be printed as a poster to be hung around Atlanta – http://atlanta.indymedia.org/local/poster-war-neighborhood

The Support Luke Defense Committee

From Asheville FM, via Anarchist News

On the night of New Years Eve this year, there was an incident of violence that occurred at a party which left six people stabbed and/or beaten in the Reynoldstown neighborhood of Atlanta. One man, Luke O’Donovan, was taken to the hospital with multiple bruises and also stab wounds on his back, was arrested. The police and media narrative, based on the words of those present at the party, states that Luke left the party angry, returned with a knife and, as we’ve seen portrayed in recent coverage of mass shootings in the U.S., returned to attack those who enraged him.

The Support Luke Defense Committee and Atlanta Anarchist Black Cross, however, have been working to change that narrative. Friends, families and Allies of Luke claim that Luke was actually the target of a homophobic attack by a group of young men, and succeeded in defending himself and maybe saved his own life before police came. This week, we speak with Esme of the SLDC about Luke and Luke’s case, and how folks can support him.

http://letlukego.com/

Playlist for this show can be found here

This show will be available from ashevillefm.org from 1/14/13-1/20/13. Downloadable from radio4all.net.

Atlanta Comrade Jailed After Allegedly Defending Himself from Hate Crime

Received from Atlanta ABC:

A comrade in Atlanta is currently facing five charges of felony aggravated assault with a weapon after defending himself against a hate motivated attack.

The media is currently slandering him and portraying him as a crazed unstable attacker but supporters have drafted a counter narrative that is included below. Please forward this and post it so that we can get support

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/6-stabbed-in-tuesday-morning-fight/nTjyK/

We are looking for funds to help with legal defense, and for his commissary. Luke is vegan so if anyone has information how to help him get vegan food while in jail please let us know.

He is currently in jail with no bond.

As of now no specific site is created by those supporting Luke but the Atlanta Black Cross page will be updating information as we get it.

In Love and Rage,

ATL ABC

———————————————

It has been reported in the press that Luke O’Donovan, 19, went on a
“stabbing rampage” at a New Year’s Eve party in Reynoldstown, a
neighborhood in Atlanta, GA. This is not accurate. The events that
occurred were the result of Luke O’Donovan desperately defending himself
against a clear act of queer-bashing that included Luke being stabbed in
the back.

Some facts of the situation remain unclear, but the events that have been
reported thus far are inaccurate. Narratives have described Luke
O’Donovan, 19, as having returned to a house party that he had been kicked
out of. The reports state that Luke returned with a knife and stabbed one
person, and then 4 others who attempted to subdue Luke.

As multiple witnesses have testified and will testify, Luke was never
kicked out of the party and did not leave. He remained at the house where
the party was occurring up until the incident. This basic fact, and the
fact that it has been misrepresented, changes the story as it has been
reported thus far. Luke is being portrayed as having gone on a nearly
unfounded “stabbing rampage” comparable to recent mass killings. This is
false. Luke did not go to the party intending to initiate conflict with
anyone. Just fifteen minutes before the fight, Luke was present in the
living room of the house, having a pleasant and friendly conversation with
other people at the party.

Although the exact sequence of events is unknown at this point, it is
clear that Luke was attacked by several people at one time and retaliated
in self-defense in an attempt to escape the attack. Several witnesses have
reported watching between 5 and 12 men mobbing up on Luke and stomping on
his head and body with the intent to kill him. The people who were stabbed
during the conflict were not attempting to end the fight with Luke. The
altercation was never limited to Luke and one other person, but involved
several people mobbing up on him.

Continue reading