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Atlanta Arrests Bail Fund Organizers In 'Cop City' Protests

A heavily armed Atlanta Police Department SWAT team raided a house and arrested three of its residents. Their crime was organizing legal support and bail funds for protesters and activists who have faced arrests in the struggle to stop the construction of a vast police training facility — dubbed Cop City — in a forest. Part of a brutal crackdown on dissent against the police training facility, the SWAT raid and charges against the protest bail fund are unprecedented, the Intercept reports. In a joint operation with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Atlanta cops charged Marlon Scott Kautz, Adele Maclean, and Savannah Patterson — all board members of the Atlanta Solidarity Fund — with “money laundering” and “charity fraud.”


The arrests are an attack on bail funds and legal support organizations, a long-standing facet of social justice movements, said Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center. While the Atlanta Solidarity Fund has been a crucial resource for activists facing harsh repression for their involvement in Stop Cop City, the nonprofit predates the movement and has been providing bail funds, jail support, and assistance with legal representation for Atlanta activists since the 2020 Black liberation uprisings. The fund, a project of the nonprofit Network for Strong Communities, has also provided grants to support an array of anti-repression work in Atlanta, including to groups working with unhoused trans youth, Black worker-owned cooperatives, and abolitionist community builders. An arrest warrant for Patterson notes that the alleged “money laundering” charge relates to reimbursements made from the nonprofit to Patterson’s personal PayPal account for minor expenses including “gasoline, forest clean-up, totes, COVID rapid tests, media, yard signs and other miscellaneous expenses.”

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