Clergy Demand Release of Indigenous Climate Activist Victor Puertas from ICE Detention

Lumpkin, GA — On Thursday afternoon, clergy members and supporters rallied outside Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, GA while faith leaders visited Victor Puertas inside. Puertas has been held on domestic terrorism charges since his arrest at the South River Music Festival on March 5. This event comes amid a week of action called by organizers against the ‘Cop City’ project near Atlanta.

Originally held in DeKalb County Jail, he was denied bond for 90 days after his arrest. Once he was released, he was taken into ICE custody and now faces deportation. No evidence introduced against Puertas in Georgia courts have yet proven anything other than his presence at the March 5 music festival.

Video released yesterday by the Atlanta Community Press Collective shows that extreme police brutality occurred during his arrest, with officers repeatedly tasing Puertas in the back as he was chased and again while he was prone on the ground. He was also placed in a chokehold.

In a second stream, we heard from clergy members who went inside the facility to meet with Puertas for a couple hours. Short remarks from one of them:

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