Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose conspiratorial record spans QAnon and Jewish space lasers to helping incite the January 6 attack on the Capitol, wants the government to recognize anti-fascists as terrorists.
Yes, in Greene’s mind: To be the opposite of a terrorist, to be a citizen in good standing, you’d have to be consequently the opposite of an anti-fascist.
On Sunday, videos circulated online showing what appeared to be construction equipment meant for Atlanta’s planned “Public Safety Training Center” (or as non-officers call it, “Cop City”) on fire, after reported clashes between protesters and the police. Greene reacted to the videos, calling it “domestic terrorism” and announcing her intention to lead a resolution to declare antifa a “terrorist organization” on Tuesday.
Atlanta’s police training center has been met with opposition since its approval in 2021, just shortly after the Black Lives Matters protests against police brutality that swept the country. Swaths of people, from environmental organizations and forest defenders to neighborhood associations and local schools, have come out strongly against the $90 million project. The proposal includes a shooting range and mock village, which earned it the nickname “Cop City.”
The proposed location for the police training center is an abandoned prison complex in the South River Forest; the old complex, the Old Atlanta Prison Farm, was allegedly host to “systemic abuse, torture, overcrowding, neglect, and racialized violence” throughout its history, and there is suspicion that “unmarked graves of prisoners exist on the grounds.”
The project has spurred all the more scrutiny after police in January shot and killed environmental activist Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, also known as Tortuguita, during a police raid of an encampment on site. Police say that Tortuguita shot at them, which prompted them to fire back. An officer was in fact hospitalized after being shot in the abdomen—but protesters contested the police’s claim and bodycam footage later revealed a cop saying, “You fucked your own officer up.” After initially claiming that no footage of the shooting existed, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation admitted five days later that footage of the shooting’s aftermath did exist.
In the footage, about 14 seconds of continuous gunfire can be heard, not a back-and-forth exchange of gunfire between Tortuguita and the police. Shortly after, a person is heard asking, “Is this target practice?”
This is the context in which Greene groups all those opposed to the bloated police project (environmentalists, students and teachers, everyday residents of the city) under the blanket term “antifa” and then calls for them to be labeled “domestic terrorists.” The always-suspicious Greene has expressed no skepticism about the police’s account of what some may deem state-sanctioned murder, but of course had plenty to say about burning construction equipment.
Bear in mind that while Greene calls for a “national divorce” and wants the government to recognize people opposed to fascism as “terrorists,” Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has said he will “never leave” and “always take care of” Greene.