Too small to be of concern?
Unless there is a major uptick in the Defend the Forest efforts, this will be the last time I give them any more space in my blog, but I think there could be a lesson to be learned here.
The “Night of rage” advertised for Friday the 20th ended up a day late and more than a dollar short as a group of protestors took the streets of Atlanta Saturday night where police arrested six people after what was initially reported as a “peaceful protest”. While a small group of sympathizers attacked a Bank of America ATM and building (Bank of America is a proud supporter of police foundations across the country) in Chicago, the Atlanta activity seems to be the only other reported “rage”.
Last night's "rage" took place in Oakland, a small four block area of Atlanta.
The protestors arrived on the streets around 5 o’clock in the evening with signs and banners shouting slogans and “memorializing” their fallen comrade in arms Manuel Esteban paez Teran who was shot by police on Wednesday after firing on officers.
It did not take long for the protestors to begin smashing windows and attacking law enforcement vehicles in a chaotic effort to grab the attention of national news since the call for a “national” night of rage had apparently not gone as planned. The rioters set off fireworks and threw rocks at the Atlanta Police Foundation building, smashed the windows of a bank in the downtown area and set a police car on fire.
While the destruction caused by the rioters spread over a couple of blocks of the city, by 7 o’clock Atlanta police had controlled the streets and the rioters were scattered.
A guest on CNN reported that the only violence taking place in Atlanta was being instigated by law enforcement but video of the entire one hour riot shows self-controlled law enforcement watching the rioters as they cried for justice for the new martyr of their movement. As I forecast in previous blogs, the focus has become less about the destruction of forest in Atlanta for a new law enforcement training center and more about the shooting of a non-binary minority who went by the name of “Tortuguita” and preferred they/it pronouns.
The CNN guest went on to say that the only violence he observed was police tackling those they arrested during the riot and suggested that property destruction and burning a police car was not violence.
If you have read my book or even half of my blogs, you know I am about the definition of words.
Violence is defined in the dictionary as “behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something”.
But only the police were exhibiting violence?
I also take offense that the incident that occurred on Wednesday is being reported as an “exchange of gunfire” between law enforcement and “them” (they? It?). The truth is that Tortuguita exited a tent opening fire on police officers without warning and was shot dead in return. I would like to point out that this altercation resembles more of a “give and take” rather than an “exchange” if we are going to start playing word games.
Another comment made in last night’s interviews was that the “Defend the Forest” movement is a small group and has “no leaders, so people kind of go off and do their own thing” but in my investigations I have found extremely organized plans, media and marketing. I would caution anyone in this day and age to discount a group of activists or terrorists simply because they are a “small group”. I believe this is the same mentality that overlooks disturbed children writing manifestos in their bedrooms and posting on Facebook before shooting fellow students. This is the same mentality that overlooks angry ex-employees that post threats on social media months before entering their place of past employment and taking the lives of those that “wronged them”. This is the same mentality that allowed AQ and ISIS to grow. This is the same mentality that allowed the Oklahoma City building to fall.
Here is an update I received late last night from the forest group who posts on various sites and uses alternate websites and using secure networks to send emails and updates:
On the night of January 20th 2023, 30 mournful anarchists took vengeful action against our enemies for the murder of Cami/Tortuguita in the Atlanta Forest two days prior. We shattered dozens of windows along the glass facade of a Bank of America building in downtown Oakland, destroyed the ATM’s, and repainted the walls with people’s messages of love, memory, solidarity, and rage at the assassination of our comrade before lighting the place up with molotov cocktails.
Bank of America is an enemy of the people and life itself. They currently fund the construction of cop city in Atlanta, the same project that threatens the forest that Tortuguita died defending. They deserve no place in our landscape. We destroyed quickly but tirelessly. Like the peasants in the Jacquerie, the Luddite wreckers, or the Haitian revolutionaries, we seek liberation in the most obvious way: the destruction of what we know is the cause of our suffering. And if we destroy much, it is because we have suffered much. “Vengeance! Vengeance!” is our war-cry.
To our enemies who seek to liquidate our lives and the earth: you will not murder us with impunity! We will strike back, each time more fiercely than before. The more you take from us, the more we have to fight for—the less we have to lose.
To our fallen comrades: your deaths will never be in vain! We will avenge you one thousand times over! Your blood is our blood. Your lives light the path of our struggle, and this is only the beginning.
We support Tortuguita whether they shot at the pigs or not. A shot fired at police is an act of liberation.
TORTUGUITA VIVE, LA LUCHA SIGUE
(LITTLE TURTLE LIVES, THE FIGHT CONTINUES)
MARTYRS NEVER DIE
THE FLAME OF ANARCHY BURNS BRIGHT
I have said this before, will say it again and have built my company on the belief that homeland security is not just about the borders or invasions. Homeland security can be defined by whatever you consider to be your homeland (insert home address here). See something say something.
Let me point out that this "small group" without any "leadership" has likened themselves to the Jacquerie which in the year 1358 was one of the most famous and mysterious peasant uprisings of the Middle Ages. Beginning in a small village but eventually overrunning most of northern France, the Jacquerie rebels destroyed noble castles and killed dozens of noblemen before being put down in a bloody wave of suppression.
As I said, I hope this is the last we see of this in Atlanta, but it will not be the last time we see this scenario in our country.
On a side note for you science geeks out there...
Last night's activism was perpetuated by a group of people that believe in clean air and the environment yet they chose to light a police car on fire.
The research into toxicity of vehicle fires is extensive. Fire Engineering Magazine published an article in 2012 stating that “Although vehicle fires can be suppressed quickly, they can release hundreds of toxic chemicals into the air, which could cause short-and even long-term health effects. Even after a fire is extinguished, the off-gassing of potentially harmful chemicals and particles may continue because of thermal decomposition. Some of the chemicals released from vehicle fires are likely to be different from those released during structural fires because vehicles contain materials such as rubber (belts, tires), petrochemicals (oil, gasoline), and acids (batteries)”
To further reinforce the risk, a 2010 Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report found that there is the potential for acute overexposure to formaldehyde, CO, and isocyanates during a vehicle fire. A potential for fine particle exposure can occur at any point during fire suppression operations. The report discussed a number of toxic gases and most were reported to be below the STEL. This isn’t meant to be a reassuring result. For the non-hazmat folk, STEL is an acronym for “short-term exposure limit” implying that the toxic gas recordings are at an acceptable average exposure over a 15-minute period. The issue with toxic gas exposure is that while the fire may be extinguished, the toxic gases will continue to be released with the presence of heat.
Here is a list of the toxins released by these environmental warriors last night:
Benzene, Dichlorodifluromethane, propene, Butadiene, Napthalene, Toluene, Styrene, Acrolein, Methyl methacrylate, Acetone, Ethanol, Chloromethane, Acrylonitrile, Acetonitrile and Xylene.
I don't understand the logic either.