FBI Uses “Cop City” Protests to Surveil Activists

The “Cop City” protest group in Atlanta involved recruitment and awareness efforts in Chicago via a Twitter account and group meetups. In this case, the activists were opposed to the destruction of a public park and an 85-acre urban forest in Atlanta that was earmarked for use as a police training center. The area was thenceforth known as “Cop City.”

The activism efforts spooked the FBI even though there was no evidence that the group did anything more than raise awareness about the destruction of an urban forest and hold meetings to discuss social and environmental issues. Nonetheless, the FBI snooped on the activists and dedicated federal funds to the effort of stopping “anarchist extremism.” 

Documents, which failed to indicate anyone in the group did anything illegal, characterize the individuals as “violent anarchist extremists” and “violent environmental extremists,” but there is no evidence to buttress those allegations.

What is an Anarchist?

An anarchist is an individual who believes that the state or government exercises a monopoly on coercive force and that a stateless society is preferable to one with a government. Anarchism is not a monolithic ideology, and anarchists may have different views on economics, technology, or other factors. The one similarity is that an anarchist does not believe that the government is good. For example, some anarchists prefer communist economics, capitalist economics, and hybrid-style economic systems. The idea of anarchism is largely theoretical, although anarchist societies have popped up in history, the most notable being in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. 

So, while anarchism sounds scary to the general public, it is actually a political ideology with over 100 years of historical development.

What is the Black Bloc?

The black bloc is the tactical wing of the anarchist movement. When you hear about “Antifa” on the news, that is probably the black bloc protestors. Black bloc performs disruption efforts at protests that include freeing protestors from cuffs and civil disorder. These are criminal activities that can be prosecuted.

Antifa, on the other hand, is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but from the anarchists’ perspective, it only describes a political affiliation of being anti-fascist. In other words, there is no “Antifa” group. 

What Do Anarchists Want?

Generally speaking, anarchism is a leftist ideology traditionally, with newer variations emerging only in the last 40 years to include capitalism/libertarianism. So, anarchists that you find at protests tend to galvanize around leftist movements. This means that the FBI is concerned that these “professional anarchists” are creating civil disorder to threaten the government. Ultimately, charges of organizing riots and the like have yet to be made against any anarchist. 

Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today

By the time you are in cuffs, the FBI already knows who you are. It does not matter what you have done, they have a piece of paper saying you are a violent extremist, and that is exactly how you will be treated. Call the Cook County criminal defense lawyers at David Freidberg today at  (312) 560-7100, and we can begin preparing your defense and protecting your future immediately. 

Contact Information