Atlanta's South River festival condemns police violence after 35 attendees arrested
The free event protesting against police facility in a historic forest was described by police as a “coordinated attack”
Atlanta's South River festival has condemned "heavy handedness" from police forces after 35 were attendees arrested, with 23 of those facing felony state domestic terrorism charges.
The festival held on March 4 to March 5 was a free event in collaboration with the Stop Cop City campaign which is attempting to stop the construction of a police training site in the historic Weelaunee Forest.
Atlanta Police Department described the event according to The Independent as a “coordinated attack” as “violent agitators” as they used “cover of a peaceful protest” to “destroy property and attack officers”.
The Atlanta Community Press Collective has received a submission describing the events that took place South River Music Festival.
This submission reads: “The sound of roughly 30 police cruisers cut through Suede Cassidy’s jazz set. Police darted into the RC Field, some with guns drawn, and indiscriminately began to attack, tase, and arrest music festival attendees.
“One attendee received death threats from intruding officers. Another was beaten, concussed, and rushed to Grady Hospital. Another reported that an officer drew his side arm and fired over their head as they chased them into the woods. As the police pushed into the forest along the bike path, they were met with flying soup cans and fireworks, which kept them at bay.”
South River Festival have posted the following statement:
The Atlanta Solidarity Fund has said: “Music is not a crime, protest is not a crime. The first amendment doesn’t go away when a single person sets a fire.”
“Indiscriminate police violence tonight against Stop Cop City festival-goers. Police seem to be lashing out at anyone present at the music festival,” it adds.
In a public statement on Sunday, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said “Actions such as this will not be tolerated,” adding: “When you attack law enforcement officers, when you damage equipment, you are breaking the law.”
The project from the Atlanta Police Foundation is worth $90m and will see roughly 85 acres bulldozed according to The Independent.
Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Video and Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter.