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Atlanta protestors “pleased” they shut down the Connector, condemn “militarization” of police

A statement issued on behalf of the Atlanta protestors who marched through town and onto the 75/85 Connector for a time Tuesday night said the group didn’t actually plan to shut down the highway but are pleased they did.

An image from last night:

The statement also says the group “condemns the militarization of the police at (Tuesday) night’s protest” and plans further actions.

“While some have chosen to highlight the vandalism and clashes with police in Atlanta last night, we would like to urge everyone to remember that Michael Brown’s life can never be replaced – unlike some broken windows,” the statement said.

Atlanta officials are less than pleased that the highway was shut down and promised swift intervention if the group gets the idea to halt traffic or break more windows.

“Don’t be mad at the police for preventing you from destroying other people’s property,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said during a news conference Wednesday. “When Dr. Martin Luther King and Ambassador Andrew Young and Ralph David Abernathy marched they did it in a highly coordinated process,” Reed said. “They didn’t just go run on the freeway.”

The manager of an Irish pub where protestors smashed a window Tuesday night said some members of the group stopped to apologize, while others laughed or posed for selfies at the site.

The Atlanta protest group said people should “consider why demonstrators in LA, NYC, St Louis, Seattle, Ferguson, and elsewhere have chosen the same tactic,” referring to traffic tie-ups.

Here’s their entire statement:

“As organizers of last night’s march in solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, MO, we would like to express our utmost thanks and awe to all of the brave people who showed up and put their safety on the line. While we did not necessarily plan for the group to march onto the downtown connector, we are pleased to have participated in this historical moment. We also would urge others to consider why demonstrators in LA, NYC, St Louis, Seattle, Ferguson, and elsewhere have chosen the same tactic. While some have chosen to highlight the vandalism and clashes with police in Atlanta last night, we would like to urge everyone to remember that Michael Brown’s life can never be replaced – unlike some broken windows. We condemn the militarization of the police at last nights protest, and at the use of force by supposed “nonviolent” demonstrators against angry, frustrated youth in the crowd. We will be helping to coordinate further demonstrations in light of this immense tragedy. Check atlfergusonsolidarity.wordpress.com for updates and announcements and also #Shutitdownatl and #atltoferguson on social media.”


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