Rioters with the “Stop Cop City” movement in Atlanta face domestic terrorism and racketeering charges for repeated attempts to stop the lawful construction of a police and firefighter training facility, including the use of Molotov cocktails to harm police officers and damage construction equipment.
The newly revealed journal of Manuel Esteban Páez Terán, an agitator who reportedly opened fire at police before officers fatally shot him on Jan. 18, reveals how climate alarmism and leftist grievance motivated a written desire to become “ungovernable” and kill police officers. Among other things, he wrote, “My gender is a loaded gun pointed at capitalism’s heart.”
Last month, Rabun County, Georgia, District Attorney George Christian announced that the police who shot Terán will not face any charges because the use of lethal force “was objectively reasonable” since the subject had fired his 9 mm pistol at a police officer, injuring him.
Terán’s defenders claim the man did not open fire, and the medical examiner’s autopsy did not find gunpowder residue on the man’s hands. However, a subsequent Georgia Bureau of Investigation analysis did find “the presence of particles characteristic of gunshot primer residue,” and the journal reveals a desire to kill police officers.
Georgia’s Republican attorney general, Chris Carr, submitted Terán’s journal as evidence in the racketeering case last week, saying that Terán was a co-conspirator with 61 people who face charges. The Daily Signal recently obtained access to the journal.
The man had been camping in the forested area that the Atlanta City Council designated in September 2021 as home to a future police and firefighter training facility, the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center. Police removed about 25 campsites on Jan. 18, and they discovered “mortar-style fireworks, multiple edged weapons, pellet rifles, gas masks, and a blow torch” in the sweep, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The journal reads like a mass shooter’s manifesto, with long sections of Terán describing himself as a hero, crude drawings of police officers hung on trees with Ku Klux Klan members, and poems about Marxism and climate change. The man opens up about his love life, with many references to desiring to fornicate and even a passage in which he claims to have been raped (though he acknowledges he was drunk at the time). He frequently compares police to slave masters and prison labor to slavery, and he uses many of the Left’s common buzzwords.
“Killing people is generally a bad thing, fascists and cops count as people, but killing them is morally [and] ethically just because they are threats to the survival of many people,” he wrote between September and November 2022. “Dead cops! Dead cops everywhere!”
“F— 12 and every last cog in the machine that is the prison-industrial complex,” he wrote. (F— 12 means “f— the police.”) “My freedom is intertwined with the freedom of every political prisoner—that is to say every prisoner. All prisoners are prisoners of war—the class war or the war on drugs or whatever you’d like to focus on. Capitalism breeds only harm, the convenient innovations are a side product.”
In December 2021 musings about “being ready to die,” Terán wrote, “Burn down the prisons and kill all the prison guards, and their backers and owners and stockholders.”
On one page, he drew a crude image of a man clad in black bloc Antifa gear firing an automatic rifle at a police officer who says, “Oink! Oink!”
Terán’s journal gives hints about his radicalization, which seems rooted in climate alarmism—the idea that human beings burning fossil fuels will so harm the environment that catastrophe will result—and an extreme distrust and even hatred for the wealthy. (Contrary to the Left’s narrative, climate alarmism is far from settled science.)
“The capitalist class is prepared for an unlivable world—they have bunkers and stockpiles to last lifetimes,” he wrote in September 2022. “We the working class do not have access to such security—all we have is each other. Scraping by is not going to mitigate climate change. Enjoying the world before it’s too late will not mitigate climate change. Only collective action will help mitigate climate change.”
“The international working class must rise up and demand an end to governments and private corporations,” he wrote. “We must seize the means of production and then work in unison to recapture carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. … We must demand Utopia, if not for ourselves then for the coming generations.”
“The police will not help us,” he added. “Politicians and their corporate overlords hate the idea of losing power—so they won’t help either. So what are we to do? Find people who understand the urgency of our situation, and eventually become ungovernable. Destroy capitalism but first grow a better world.”
News outlets have reported that Terán identified using “they/them” pronouns, and one passage from his journal does indeed echo gender ideology. This activist did not identify as male, female, nonbinary, transgender, or any specific gender, however. According to him, his “gender” is … a threat to capitalism.
“My gender is a loaded gun pointed at capitalism’s heart,” he wrote. “My gender is the strength of the wretched of the earth … My gender is political and abstract, it’s a stick striking a cop’s soft bits. My gender is the rejection of authority.”
“My gender is a knife in the hands of every femboy and gender bender,” he wrote. “It is the flame of a Molotov and teargas tears.”
Terán also echoed the Left’s language of intersectional oppression. He identified his “exit strategy” as “to keep resisting fascism, ecocide, and the damn capitalist cisheteropatriarchy.”
“Cisheteropatriarchy” refers to the leftist idea that society is dominated by men (“patriarchy”) who identify as men (“cis” as opposed to “trans”) and who see heterosexuality as the norm (“hetero”).
The agitator again repeats, “There is no future unless we fight like hell to mitigate the effects of climate change. We must be better stewards of the land; industrial society must be dismantled by any means necessary.”
Terán described the “Stop Cop City” movement as “FOREST ANTIFA” in the month before his death.
“I know the struggle is not over—f— the naysayers—f— all those who believe that the state will triumph,” he wrote. “Our resistance cannot be stopped. Momma didn’t raise a coward—fear will not stop me. Fear cannot be allowed to stop us.”
Terán claimed that his oppressors “rape and rob and terrorize targeted communities” and went on to wish death to everyone who props up the system.
“I hope every judge, bishop, and bootlicker dies painfully and is remembered as scum,” he wrote. “Death to all who stand in the way of liberation for all oppressed people.”
Terán’s journal reveals how the Left’s talking points about climate change, LGBTQ identities, and oppression can motivate hatred and terrorism. While the journal does not prove that Terán opened fire before police shot him, it heavily suggests that he would have had no compunction about doing so.
This man identified as “Antifa,” mused about shooting police, and joined a movement to squat on a piece of land to prevent police and construction workers from following the orders of the City Council to construct a new facility. His allies used Molotov cocktails in an attempt to block that construction, and his statements about a Molotov cocktail flame being his “gender” suggest he gladly would have thrown them himself.
The journal may prove inconvenient for the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leftist group that claims to monitor extremism and hate, but focuses almost exclusively on the Right. An SPLC lawyer, Thomas Webb Jurgens, faces domestic terrorism charges for his role in a March “Stop Cop City” riot. The SPLC and the National Lawyers Guild claim Jurgens was a “legal observer,” but he faces charges nonetheless.
Terán’s journal underscores the fact that Carr, Georgia’s attorney general, is right to describe these acts as terrorism and to charge the agitators accordingly.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include the Georgia Bureau of Investigation report on gunshot residue.
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