martial law in georgia
Date: Fri, 21 May 2004 21:01:32 -0400
Subject: Governor places Coastal Georgia under state of emergency for G-8
By DON PLUMMER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 05/21/04
Georgia's six coastal counties, those most affected
by the June summit on Sea Island, will be under a
state of emergency order beginning Monday.
No, Gov. Sonny Perdue, who issued the order, doesn't
know something about the weather coastal residents
don't. And I-16 won't automatically become one-way
west, as it does in hurricane evacuations.
Citing, among other reasons, the "potential danger
to the persons and property of this state from
unlawful assemblages, threats of violence and
otherwise" the executive order creates a unified
public safety command for the Group of Eight Summit.
By aligning the Georgia Army National Guard and
state law enforcement and public health under one
office, the order potentially reduces the response
time of state agencies if terrorists strike or
demonstrations get out of hand, Harold Melton,
Perdue's executive counsel, said Friday. Heading the
command will be William "Bill" Hitchens Jr., the
head of Georgia's homeland security office.
Protesters in Savannah said declaring a state of
emergency was overkill.
"I don't think it's usual. I don't think it's an
appropriate response," said G8 protest organizer
"To further disrupt and restrict citizens is wrong.
It's burdensome is what it really is," she said.
The order does not provide additional money to
Chatham, Bryan, Liberty, McIntosh, Glynn and Camden
counties, those most affected by the June 8-10
meeting of representatives from the world's major
industrial nations and the European Union.
The order, which could last through June 20, is the
latest sign that Georgia leaders are prepared to
take extraordinary steps to prevent trouble. No
state or local criminal laws are changed by the
order, signed by Perdue May 7, Melton said.
The last time a governor used such an order was
during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, said Melton.
"It will also make it more easy to justify our
application to cover expenses for the summit with
federal monies," Melton said.
Already, $25 million in federal money has been
transferred to the state for security expenses and
millions more could be tapped for National Guard
costs which would be paid directly to the Department
Gasink's husband, William Pleasant, plans to
demonstrate in Forsyth Park in Savannah June 8-10,
where protesters will have a free speech microphone
set up, among other events.
Protesters expect to receive a permit Monday to
march in Savannah's downtown area on June 8 at 10
"I don't care if it goes to martial law," Pleasant
said. "This is still a constitutional democracy. My
friends and I will write and speak and perform," he
Staff writer Mary Lou Pickel contributed to this
[From David Meieran of the Save Our Civil Liberties campaign.]
Georgia's "State of Emergency"
1. Emergency Management Act of 1981
the contents of the act, which lay out exactly what Perdue's
declaration means, are hard to find. a search for it on google or on
georgia.gov won't reveal it. (i tracked it down by substituting the Act
and article numbers within the cgi script that locates ganet.org's
documents.) anyway, i copied the text and uploaded it here:
Under the State of Emergency, the GA Governor directs a State
Operations Center, which consists primarily the Georgia Emergency
Management Agency, that can assume "direct operational control." Among
other things, he could impose a curfew or detain people without
justification with the aid of the national guard. Section 38-3-22
contains lots of details.
Also, see GEMA's website:
A part of the Office of the Governor, The Georgia Emergency Management
Agency (GEMA) operates under the authority of the Emergency Management
Act of 1981.
Virtually all GEMA employees are on 24-hour call to assist local
authorities in responding to emergencies. In addition, they staff the
State Operations Center (SOC) when a disaster or emergency threatens,
as well as prior to and during large scale events.
When the SOC is activated, it is staffed not only by GEMA, but also by
representatives of more than a dozen other organizations with
responsibility for disaster response efforts including state and
federal agencies, volunteer, and private sector organizations.
G8 Safety and Security Information Provided on New Web Site operated by
GEMA has an 800 # (800-879-4362)
Also see this bit, "Emergency Support Function (ESF) 13: Terrorism":
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