An attorney with the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that frequently lists mainstream conservatives alongside hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), has been charged with domestic terrorism after allegedly rioting with Antifa in Atlanta.
Over the weekend, far-left agitators allegedly threw Molotov cocktails and launched fireworks at an Atlanta police training facility that has been under construction. Among the 23 people arrested for what police called a “coordinated attack” is Thomas Jurgens, 28, a staff attorney at the SPLC. Following the arrest, Jurgens’ Linkedin page was deleted. Per the New York Post:
Of the 23 people slapped with domestic terrorism charges over the violent protest, Jurgens and only one other man, Jack Beaman, hail from the state of Georgia. Police said the majority of those arrested are from other parts of the US — as well as France and Canada.
The SPLC didn’t immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment in the wake of Jurgens’ arrest. In total, 35 “violent agitators” were nabbed after they attacked the future site of the $90 million police training facility, cops said.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the remainder of those arrested will also be hit with domestic terrorism charges.
During the demonstration over the weekend, protesters allegedly threw Molotov cocktails, fireworks, rocks, and bricks at police officers. Atlanta Police Chief Schierbaum later described it as a “coordinated attack” and that multiple pieces of construction equipment were set on fire.
“This was a very violent attack, very violent attack,” Schierbaum said. “This wasn’t about a public safety training center. This was about anarchy… and we are addressing that quickly.”
According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, some left-wing agitators even tried blinding police officers by shining green lasers into their eyes.
Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also condemned the violence, calling it an act of “domestic terrorism.”
“As I’ve said before, domestic terrorism will NOT be tolerated in this state,” Kemp said. “We will not rest until those who use violence and intimidation for an extremist end are brought to full justice.”
As Breitbart News reported, far-left rioters lit a police car on fire and broke the windows of several local businesses this past January in response to the death of 26-year-old activist Manuel Teran, who was killed during a police sweep “in what the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said was an exchange of gunfire with police that wounded a state trooper,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC).
The protest eventually turned violent, with a police car being set aflame while businesses were broken into. Police responded to multiple instances of property damage along Peachtree Street. The Atlanta Police Foundation also had its glass doors smashed in.
Antifa is burning down Atlanta right now pic.twitter.com/UH3H8CVV6X
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) January 22, 2023
The SPLC’s listing of conservatives alongside legitimate hate groups almost had deadly consequences in 2013 when domestic terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins II attempted a mass shooting at the Family Research Council (FRC) after the SPLC listed it as a hate group.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, wrote in the Washington Post that the center’s use of “hate” labels destroys public discourse.
“The wickedness of the SPLC’s blacklist lies in the fact that it conflates groups that really do preach hatred, such as the Ku Klux Klan and Nation of Islam, with ones that simply do not share the SPLC’s political preferences,” he wrote. “The obvious goal is to marginalize the organizations in this second category by bullying reporters into avoiding them, scaring away writers and researchers from working for them, and limiting invitations for them to discuss their work.”
The SPLC acknowledged a member of their organization was arrested during the event in a tweet Monday, describing them as a “legal observer”:
Law enforcement detained at least 35 demonstrators in Atlanta on Sunday, including an SPLC employee who was arrested while acting — and identifying — as a legal observer on behalf of @NLGnews #StopCopCity
— Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) March 6, 2023