Austin: Travis County Drops Charges against Some Protesters, Continues Persecution of Others

Cover photo of protests in Austin during May Uprising

By Mike Talavera

On Thursday, Travis County Attorney Delia Garza announced on Twitter that the remaining cases related to protests in Austin from the end of May to mid-June would be dismissed. In a follow-up tweet, however, Garza said that her office was still reviewing cases where “damage was done, a weapon was involved, or there was a public safety concern.”

The ruling class media repeated Garza’s misleading first tweet out of context, with CBS Austin falsely reporting “Travis Co. Attorney drops all remaining cases from George Floyd, BLM protests last summer.”

The County Attorney has not released any specifics to clarify the ambiguous language of the tweets, like what constitutes a “public safety concern.” As one reply to Garza’s tweet said, “I was arrested twice while protesting out here. Arrested for using a megaphone (amplified noise) and Criminal Trespassing (Standing on the bottom step outside of APD HQ). Claimed I ‘resisted arrest’ when there shouldn’t have been any arrests to begin with.”

In a statement published to social media, Drop the Charges, a coalition supporting the more than 14,000 protesters facing charges from last year, celebrated that more charges were being dropped but criticized the County Attorney for creating a division between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ protesters.

“Our community should still question the framing of the charges that remain against protesters and continue to push for all of them to be dropped,” the statement read.

The statement continued by calling for District Attorney Jose Garza, who trafficked in the struggles for Black Lives to win his election and has still made no comment on the protest-related charges he is prosecuting, “to break his silence and tell the Austin community where he stands on the felony charges against protesters that his office is prosecuting.”

In response to the ruling class media’s false headlines, a Drop the Charges spokesperson told Tribune that it was part of the narrative that the state is the source of change, when it was really the people demanding charges be dropped that resulted in the County Attorney’s campaign concession.

“Those in power including the media will use this in attempt to stop the demand to drop the charges as our movement gains support. These headlines are pushed intentionally to mislead the people when obviously many charges still remain,” the spokesperson said.

“We have to keep fighting for those who still have charges against because they are the most likely to be negatively characterized and isolated by politicians and the media.”

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