Demonstrators gathered in Buckhead July 25 to protest President Donald Trump and his use of federal police in cities.
About 50 protesters met at a Regions Bank parking lot on West Paces Ferry Road, then proceeded on foot and by vehicle down Slaton Drive to Peachtree Road. They said they were heading to the Georgia Tech campus to meet other protesters.
The event was advertised on social media as in solidarity with protesters in Portland, Oregon, where ongoing protests about racism and police brutality have drawn national attention as Trump sent in federal police forces earlier this month. The use of U.S. Department of Homeland Security police and a practice of unmarked officers arresting people on the streets has caused controversy and become a focal point of further protests there.
Trump has said he will extend the federal policing to other cities, leading several mayors to issue a letter in opposition, including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Some of the local protesters displayed printed signs calling for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to leave office and bearing the slogans “No fascist military war on the people” and “No fascist police state.” The signs bore the web address of RefuseFascism.org, a New York City-based movement with an Atlanta chapter that says it opposes Trump’s presidency as inherently fascist.
Other protest signs included such slogans as “Black Lives Matter,” “No justice, no peace” and “Feds stay home.”
The protest was announced as gathering across the street at the Atlanta History Center at 130 West Paces Ferry, which is private property. The protesters instead gathered at the bank and spoke with a Georgia State Patrol lieutenant before heading out.
–Photos and reporting by Phil Mosier