Atlanta, GA USA– The Atlanta Police Department raided the home of three organizers with the Atlanta Solidarity Fund (ASF), a nonprofit organization and bail fund founded in 2016 that offers legal support to those facing state repression for protest-related activity. ASF has been an outspoken critic of state repression of social movements, use of chemical weapons on protesters, and increasing police militarization. The three were arrested and have been charged with money laundering and charity fraud. These are the first known people associated with a bail fund to be criminally charged.
During the release hearing the prosecutor, John Fowler, attempted to allege that the members of the Atlanta Solidarity Fund comitted the so-called “crime” of “harbor[ing] extremist anti-government and anti-establishment views” based on writings in a personal diary and other documents collected from police trash searches at their residence, attempts to paint them as leaders, and part of a group of criminal extremists.
Fowler throughout attempts to string unidentifiable conspiracist connections between actions, people, intentions, money, and ideas. Fowler cites incidents from the uprising of 2020 and other acts of protest-vandalism, which Fowler seemingly alleges these bail fund activists are a part of for simply “being anti-government” and operating a bail fund, and using a “forest justice defense fund” for protest activity, as is the stated aim. Fowler brings up an “intercepted phone call” of another case drawing unintelligible connections between them. Fowler name-drops copsofcopcity.noblogs.org and the posting of addresses of police, judges, federal agents, as supposed “witness intimidation”. The most clear stated intention given by the prosecution is the request to deny bail based on their anti-governmental ideas and beliefs.
In response to these conspiracist brainworms the judge says “there is not impressive evidence against the defendants and there is nothing illegal about for example operating a mesh network or camping supplies.” and gives the defendants bond.
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