A suspected Antifa activist charged with domestic terrorism over Atlanta riots is an attorney for the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center.
Thomas Webb Jurgens, 28, is one of 23 people detained after violent clashes between police and protesters at the construction site for the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center.
Fireworks and Molotov cocktails were used to attack police and destroy construction equipment and construction equipment during Sunday’s riots. Activists have been demonstrating against the police station they call “Cop City” for months.
Jurgens joined the SPLC in September 2021, working on the Economic Justice Project, according to his LinkedIn page. He has also worked as an assistant attorney and as a legal intern at a US law firm in Florida.
The LinkedIn page features a professional photo of Jurgens with neatly cropped hair and a suit and tie. The photo contrasts sharply with the mugshot released by police on Monday and shows him with a sullen face in a green sweater with long, unkempt hair and stubble.
The 23 Antifa “terrorists” who were arrested after violent clashes at the construction site for an Atlanta police training center dubbed “Cop City.” Thomas Webb Jurgens (bottom row, second from left) is an attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center
Dave Wilkinson, president and CEO of the Atlanta Police Foundation, surveys damage at the site of the proposed Atlanta Public Safety Training facility following vandalism by protesters in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., March 6, 2023
The aftermath of the March 6 Cop City protests. 23 people have been charged with domestic terrorism
His social media profile also details an impressive academic career, including a term at the prestigious University of Oxford, in England, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is a social justice organization that describes its goals as “dismantling white supremacy, empowering intersectional movements, and advancing the human rights of all people.” Republican activists claim that the SPLC is a “radical” leftist and “anti-Christian” organization.
Jurgens and 22 other activists, even from France and Canada, have now been charged with domestic terrorism after the riots at the police training center.
The 23 ‘Antifa terrorists’ attacked in Atlanta
- Jack Beaman, 22, from Georgia
- Ayla King, 18, from Massachusetts
- Kamryn Pipes, 27, from Louisiana
- Maggie Gates, 25, from Indiana
- Ehret Nottingham, 22, of Colorado
- Alexis Paplai, 48, from Massachusetts
- Timothy Bilodeau, 25, from Massachusetts
- Victor Puertas, 46, of Utah
- Dimitri LeNy, 25, from France
- Amin Chaoui, 31, from Virginia
- James Marsicano, 29, from North Carolina
- Samuel Ward, 26, from Arizona
- Max Biederman, 25, from Arizona
- Mattia Luini, 30, from New York
- Emma Bogush, 24, from Connecticut
- Kayley Meissner, 19, from Wisconsin
- Luke Harper, 27, from Florida
- Grace Martin, 22, from Wisconsin
- Colin Dorsey, 42, from Maine
- Fredrique Robert-Paul, 34, from Canada
- Zoe Larmey, 25, from Tennessee
- Thomas Jurgens, 28, from Georgia
- Priscilla Grim, 49, from New York
The Atlanta Police Department released details of the suspects on Monday. The individuals are mostly men and women from outside Georgia, indicating a concerted effort to enlist outside aid for the action.
A statement from the Atlanta Police Department said, “On March 5, 2023, a group of violent agitators used the cover of a peaceful protest against the proposed Atlanta Public Safety Training Center to launch a coordinated attack on construction equipment and police officers.
“They put on black clothes and entered the construction site and started throwing large rocks, stones, Molotov cocktails and firecrackers at police officers.
“The agitators destroyed several construction equipment through fire and vandalism. Multiple law enforcement agencies moved into the area and arrested several people who were committing illegal activities.”
Police said 35 “agitators” were apprehended. It was not immediately clear whether the other 12 will also be charged.
Police added: ‘The agitators’ illegal actions could have resulted in bodily harm. Officers exercised restraint and used non-lethal enforcement to make arrests.
With protests scheduled for the next few days, the Atlanta Police Department, in conjunction with law enforcement partners, has a multi-layered strategy that includes response and arrest.
“Atlanta Police Department is asking for this week’s protests to be peaceful.”
Atlanta Police Foundation Chairman and CEO Dave Wilkinson visited the crime scene on Monday to assess the damage.
Dramatic footage released by the Atlanta Police Department on Sunday evening shows nearly 150 masked rioters breaking into the construction site and aiming fireworks at police.
Part of the group could later be seen collecting riot shields. Once they got together, they started throwing Molotov cocktails at a construction vehicle and ran away when it was on fire. Other videos posted online showed a police surveillance tower on fire, sending smoke shooting into the air.
The dramatic confrontation between police and protesters comes as individuals and activist organizations descend on the proposed site for a ‘week of action’ to protest its development.
“This is the first week of action since the state killed someone,” Marlon Kautz, an Atlanta Solidarity Fund organizer told The Guardian, referring to the police killing of Manuel Paez Teran in January.
The burnt-out body of a construction vehicle after the violent riots in Atlanta’s ‘Cop City’
Demonstrators have camped in the woods around the construction site and make regular attempts to stop the project
An image of the aftermath after violent clashes between rioters and police on Sunday 6 March
Dave Wilkinson, president and CEO of the Atlanta Police Foundation, is investigating the damage
A private autopsy revealed that he had been shot 13 times.
Authorities have alleged that Teran — who identified as non-binary — opened fire on a Georgia State Patrol trooper during a “clearance operation” of the so-called Autonomous Zone at the site of the $90 million project.
Protesters, who have formed a group called the “Stop Cop City,” say Weelaunee Forest’s 381 acres is “stolen Muscogee land” and its creation would mean the destruction of wildlife and forestry.
They have become increasingly violent since they first moved into the forest last spring, arresting 19 people on domestic terrorism charges since December. Stop Cop City activists also say the city of Atlanta has “rented” the land — something the mayor has denied. , saying the town in unincorporated DeKalb County owns it.