A self-described revolutionary protester involved in the attack on an Atlanta Wendy’s last Saturday night that was torched over the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks while violently fleeing arrest is claiming that Black Lives Matter protesters had a bomb squad and anti-drone laser team on scene, with the involvement of people from Venezuela, Seattle and Minneapolis. The protester, a black man, said black people were involved in the arson, not just white people. He also described his blocking a firetruck responding to the Wendy’s arson and his assault on a black police officer in front of an Atlanta precinct later that night.
The claims were made in an interview by Charles Bethea published by the New Yorker on Wednesday (excerpt):
On Monday, Marty X, a social worker in his twenties who asked that I not use his real name, was dropping food off at a church on the southwest side of Atlanta when I reached him on a friend’s phone. His own phone was still in police custody…
…“We got to the overpass around eight-forty-five. A gentleman with a megaphone was telling everybody to move toward the Wendy’s. I’m seeing a lot of stuff about white people setting the Wendy’s on fire. Yo, let me be the first to say that shit was a community effort. The love and unity that went into burning that motherfucking Wendy’s down was incredible. I’m not gonna give white people credit. Black people were angry. We were organized. There was a bomb squad there within the revolution. They had fireworks—using them to signal that police were coming, where to meet. There was also anti-drone teams from other parts of the world: Venezuela, Seattle, Minneapolis. Boots on the ground, sharing the gospel about defunding the police. I saw lasers big enough to put on telescopes pointed up at the drones, disrupting their feeds.
The crowd was working the Wendy’s for hours before we arrived. Maybe three hundred people. There wasn’t much conversation about larger revolutionary principles. It was just people expressing their anger at this object, which gave us an outlet. There were some people there to fuck shit up, but, generally speaking, the people were there in support of the movement. I was saving bricks for motherfuckers throwing for Rayshard, not because you just want to throw a brick. What we’re doing is based in very real anti-government scholarship and politics. The Black Lives Matter agenda. The revolution agenda. The ending of overpolicing and police brutality and corporate violence. Burn it down.
“The scariest moment was when the fire truck came to put it down, at about nine-forty-five. I was like, ‘Nah.’ Two police squad cars came to clear the scene, going at an unreasonable speed, using their vehicles as weapons. One police officer used his car as a battering ram. He hit at least five protesters point-blank. We said, ‘Cool, we’ll use our bodies as battering rams.’ Me and three young men, we lay down on the chrome piece on the front of the fire truck. ‘Y’all not putting this fire out.’ The firemen stopped and watched from inside their trucks. The police continued pushing civilians with their fucking S.U.V.s. When they retreated, the fire trucks got up out of there. [The Atlanta Police Department did not respond to multiple requests for comment.]…
…“We got to pushing. We were in what could be described, metaphorically, as ‘the plight of the fight.’ Two black men, who understand each other as black men, who understand the plight that we are in against the police—except he’s a police officer and I’m a civilian. We’re pushing up against each other for the same, basic, liberal right: to live. We were locked in this struggle of love. But we weren’t pretending. I was trying to push him on his motherfucking back. I didn’t want to hurt him, but I wanted to push through for my friend who’d been murdered.
End excerpt. Please read the entire New Yorker article at this link.
Atlanta has been plunged into turmoil over the police shooting death of Brooks last Friday night who was passed out drunk behind the wheel at the Wendy’s and attacked officers trying to arrest him. Brooks stole a taser off one of the officers and fired it, wounding the officer. The other officer shot and killed Brooks when while fleeing Brooks turned and aimed the taser at him. The police chief resigned and both officers charged in the shooting, with one facing murder charges, before the investigation was complete. Many Atlanta officers did not report for work Wednesday night in an apparent protest of the officers being charged.