Republican State Declares Major Emergency

Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) declared a state of emergency in the Peach state following a spate of violent protests had erupted in Atlanta.

A thousand members of the Georgia National Guard were called up by Kemp, who revealed “all resources” had been made available in response to protests that resulted in six people being arrested on Saturday (January 21).

Unless Kemp extends the state of emergency, it should end on February 9.

The protest action, which started as an affront to the city’s decision to build a $90 million police training academy in the South Woods Forest — dubbed “cop city” — began as a peaceful protest.

But following the deadly police shooting of 26-year-old activist Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, who police say fired the first shot, protests quickly became violent.

Protestors armed with bricks began throwing them at buildings. They also set alight police vehicles, with Atlanta’s mayor, Andre Dickens, revealing some of the protesters were armed with a far more deadly arsenal — explosives.

Protestors want their questions answered by law enforcement about what happened to the queer environmental activist, as they dispute the assertion Terán fired at a state trooper first. They are also demanding an independent investigation into the events be conducted.

The decision to announce a state of emergency comes as Memphis, Tenn. police plan to release the body camera footage of the killing of Black motor use Tyre Nichols on Friday (January 27). The footage is expected to ignite protest action in Memphis, Atlanta, and, possibly, nationwide.