“There is no First Amendment in Atlanta,” wrote activist Micah Herskind.

By Sharo n Zhang, truthout

Law enforcement officers in Georgia have arrested three top organizers behind a bail fund in Atlanta that has been aiding protesters against Cop City.

teardown house stop cop city

Atlanta police arrested the organizers, the CEO, chief financial officer and the secretary for the group behind the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, at their homes on Wednesday morning. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the three were charged with money laundering and charity fraud.

Activists called the arrests an escalation in the state’s attempt to crush the Stop Cop City movement, with participants being hit with increasingly harsh charges.

“This is a major escalation — they’re arresting those who defend the arrested,” wrote Atlanta organizer Micah Herskind. “The implications of these arrests is that not only can you not protest, but you cannot defend those who are arrested for protesting. There is no first amendment in Atlanta.”

In a statement, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) spoke as though the organizers and other anti-Cop City activists were already found guilty of their charges from the GBI. He said that he was “proud” to have arrested the “criminals” who he says “facilitated and encouraged domestic terrorism,” referring to terrorism charges against Cop City protesters.

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