SPLC staff lawyer and two foreign nationals among twenty-three Antifa charged with domestic terrorism after ‘Cop-City’ riot

Atlanta, Georgia – Twenty-three members of the left extremist organization known as “Antifa” were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism Sunday night after an hours-long riot erupted in support of the “Stop Cop City” movement. Among those arrested were an employee of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and two foreign nationals.

According to Dekalb County Jail booking records, Thomas Webb Jurgens, a staff lawyer for the anti-White hate group, the SPLC, appears as one of those arrested. Jurgens—alongside 22 others—have been charged with domestic terrorism by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for their alleged role in pillaging the construction site of an 85-acre training complex for the city’s police and fire departments.

Alleged domestic terrorist, Thomas Webb Jurgens Linkedin profile picture (left) and mugshot (right)

Per his now-deleted Linkedin profile, the 28-year-old Jurgens is a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law and operates out of the Atlanta Metropolitan area. His identity was confirmed after his full name matched with records present on the State Bar of Georgia website. The young attorney joined the SPLC in September of 2021 and once studied at the University of Oxford.

Alongside Jurgens, twenty-six other leftist extremists were arrested and charged, almost all of them crossing state lines to arrive in Atlanta. Two foreign nationals were also arrested, having traveled from Canada and France to allegedly participate in the riot.

The violence, in which Police allege Antifa used firebombs, bricks, and other makeshift explosive weapons to endanger lives and commit hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property damage, took place at the embattled site of the future Atlanta Public Safety Training Center. Police say “violent agitators” used the cover of a proposed music festival and peaceful protest to launch a “coordinated attack” on the construction site.

High-definition video captured what appear to be over 100 black bloc militants rampaging across the area and quickly setting fire to construction vehicles, fencing, and trailers. While Antifa did attack police officers that were present, no injuries have so far been reported. The escalation in violence comes after an Antifa gunman, 26-year-old Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, was justifiably shot and killed for his role in opening fire and striking a Georgia State Patrolman in the abdomen late last year.

Antifa arrested for domestic terrorism on 3/5/23. Photo: Dekalb County Sheriff

The latest fiery Antifa riot in “Cop City” has many speaking out against the now typical behavior. “This is not a protest,” said Atlanta Police Department officials at a press conference. “This wasn’t about a public training center; this was about anarchy.”

“So this is a national network, an international group of people that are organized to come to our state to undermine a public safety training center,” said Georgia Attorney General, Chris Carr, during an appearance on Fox News.

“They’re doing it for fun. There is no ideology here,” said Mike Peinovich, Chairman of the pro-White advocacy organization, the National Justice Party, during a recent podcast. “They’re just a bunch of rich kids out thrill-seeking. This is not racial justice or even environmental justice.”

Police mugshot of Frederique Robert-Paul, a Canadian national with known ties to Montreal antifascist groups. Photo: Antifawatch

“This type of activity never results in a Homeland Security briefing, never results in Alejandro Mayorkas getting on the mic and talking about it, it never results in Congressional hearings, never results in the Biden Administration making a statement,” he continued. “This never results in Merrick Garland calling this a domestic extremist threat, yet, this is far more common than anything White Nationalists have ever done.”

Despite overwhelming video evidence of Antifa descending upon “cop city” and ransacking the site, the SPLC—alongside the National Lawyers Guild—made a statement in defense of the alleged domestic terrorist. They claim Jurgens was merely acting as a “legal observer” who was “supporting movement organizers and activists” during the riot. No evidence of this being the case was presented, however, and the Justice Report could not verify the claim.

Antifa rioters launch improvised explosives against law enforcement on Sunday. Photo: Atlanta Police Dept via Reuters

“This is part of a months-long escalation of policing tactics against protesters,” the statement continued, tepidly attempting to redirect blame back onto the Police. “The SPLC has and will continue to urge de-escalation of violence and police use of force against Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities — working in partnership with these communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements and advance the human rights of all people.”

The SPLC’s “Hatewatch” division—which breathlessly reports on the private lives of American citizens under the guise of extremism research—has long been considered “utterly discredited” by some government officials. The organization’s fraught history includes instances of SPLC leaders personally leading fellow anarchists to violence. At one point, it was even revealed that they recruited staffers from pools of violent ex-convicts. One federal whistleblower even confirmed the SPLC’s collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose Hatewatch research was sourced to identify “mitigation opportunities” inside pro-White activist and Christian groups for infiltration and deradicalization.

The SPLC’s Megan Squire (right) holding the corner of a banner belonging to the John Brown Gun Club, an armed militant cell of “Antifa.” Photo: Antifawatch

High-ranking members of the SPLC, including Hatewatch’s own, Megan Squire, have personally led armed marches and protests alongside Antifa militia cells, the “John Brown Gun Club,” and “Redneck Revolt.” A member of the John Brown Gun Club, 68-year-old Willem Spronsen, was shot dead by law enforcement after he attempted to open fire on police and firebomb an ICE detention center in Tacoma, Washington.

In 2012, long before Thomas Jurgens, the anti-White extremist group was accused of encouraging politically motivated violence when an armed leftist extremist entered the building of a Christian non-profit, the Family Research Council (FRC), and opened fire. He later admitted to FBI investigators that he chose the target based on the SPLC’s dubious “hate map” and planned to kill as many right-wing, anti-gay targets as he possibly could. Despite their clear influence in the attack, the SPLC kept the FRC on their hate map for years after the shooting.

“They’re doing it for fun. There is no ideology here…They’re just a bunch of rich kids out thrill-seeking. This is not racial justice or even environmental justice.”

Mike Peinovich, Chairman of the National Justice Party

The organizers of the “Weelanuee Forest Music Festival,” which APD allege was used as a front to commit the violence, released their own statement and version of events that seem to starkly contrast with video evidence and first-hand accounts.

Overhead photo of “Cop City” construction site. Photo: AP/Danny Karnik)

“Cop City will never be a legitimate project. It continues to be widely opposed by Atlantans,” claimed the self-proclaimed autonomous movement. “The civil rights violations committed by police today reaffirms that this cop training facility should never be built. We stand steadfast in our conviction to build a new world in which all people are safe from police terror.”

Anarchists, Antifa militants, and leftist extremists have long been known to hide behind altruism in order to justify abhorrent acts of violence, and in some cases, death. In 2020, self-described Antifa anarchist, Michael Reinoehl, was applauded after killing Aaron Danielson, a Trump supporter, on the streets of Portland in cold blood. The following year, two anarchists were caught red-handed attempting to jam train signals in the Pacific Northwest in order to cause catastrophic derailments. During the arrest, the pair were found to be in possession of anarchist propaganda and were associated with an anti-White indigenous rights organization.

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