Movement to Stop Cop City grows

What do you think about “Cop City”?

Cop City is a proposed $90 million, 300-acre police training compound backed by the Atlanta Police Foundation. It will be the largest police training facility in the US, to include a mock city where police will train with firearms, tear gas, helicopters, and explosive devices to repress protest and mass arrest.

This is exactly the opposite of what those of us in the abolition (of police and prisons) movement are working for. All the more concerning because Cop City would be used to train police from all over the country. Imagine your local police going to Cop City and returning with all this knowledge about militarized policing and repressing dissent.
(See: )

It’s impossible for me to not see the connections of the police killings of Manuel Teran, Tyre Nichols, George Floyd, and hundreds of others.

A coalition of more than 1,300 climate and racial justice groups from across the United States on Monday joined a call for an independent investigation into the police killing of forest defender Manuel Paez Terán earlier this month, and demanded the resignation of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens.

The groups noted that Dickens and the Atlanta City Council have the authority to terminate the land lease for Cop City in the forest and called for the mayor to do so immediately, denouncing his strong support for the Atlanta Police Foundation’s proposal.

Ikiya Collective, a signatory of the letter, noted that the training slated to take place at Cop City “will impact organizing across the country” as police are trained to respond to popular uprisings.

“This is a national issue,” said the collective. “Climate justice and police brutality are interconnected, which is why we are joining the Stop Cop City calls to action with the frontline communities in Atlanta.”

1,300+ US Groups Demand Atlanta Mayor’s Resignation Over Forest Defender Tortuguita’s Killing by Julia Conley, Common Dreams, January 30, 2023

I attended a vigil for Tortuguita in Chicago the day after they were killed by police. One of the signs posted beside candles and other tributes included words taken from an interview Tortuguita gave to writer David Peisner. This is what they said of the movement to Stop Cop City:

If enough people decide to do this with nonviolent action, you can overwhelm the infrastructure [of the state]. That’s something they fear more than violence in the streets. Because violence in the streets, they’ll win. They have the guns for it. We don’t.

The Death of a Forest Defender at “Stop Cop City” by Kelly Hayes, TRUTHOUT, January 26,2023

NLG National joins our Atlanta and University of Georgia Chapters and comrades in mourning the devastating loss of a beloved community member. Tortuguita was a kind, passionate, and caring activist, who coordinated mutual aid and served as a trained medic. The Atlanta Community Press Collective is compiling memories and accounts of their life, and we encourage everyone to honor and remember Tortuguita through the words of those who love them.

As radical movement legal activists, NLG recognizes that this horrific murder and the related arrests are part of a nationwide attack on protesters, land defenders, and marginalized folks, especially Black, Indigenous, and other activists of color. Labeling these demonstrators “domestic terrorists” is a harrowing repetition of No DAPL activist Jessica Reznicek’s terrorist enhancement last year, and both are clear indicators that the people in power view protesters and environmental activists as enemies of the state.


Jessica Reznicek

As mentioned in the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) statement above, domestic terrorism charges are being brought to stifle nonviolent civil disobedience as part of a nationwide attack on protesters, land defenders, and marginalized folks, especially Black, Indigenous, and other activists of color.

A PANEL OF three Trump-appointed judges this week upheld an excessive eight-year prison sentence handed down to climate activist Jessica Reznicek, ruling that a terrorism enhancement attached to her sentence was “harmless.”

The terror enhancement, which dramatically increased Reznicek’s sentence from its original recommended range, set a troubling precedent. Decided by a lower court in 2021, it contends that Reznicek’s acts against private property were “calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government.” The appellate justices’ decision to uphold her sentence, callously dismissing the challenge to her terrorism enhancement, doubles down on a chilling message: Those who take direct action against rapacious energy corporations can be treated as enemies of the state.

As her legal battles continue, Reznicek, whose acts of sabotage place her firmly on the right side of history, if not the law, deserves full-throated public support. As she noted in her 2017 statement claiming responsibility for the actions against the Dakota Access pipeline: “We acted from our hearts and never threatened human life nor personal property. What we did do was fight a private corporation that has run rampant across our country seizing land and polluting our nation’s water supply.”

Right-Wing Judges Say It’s “Harmless” to Label Climate Activist a Terrorist. A court upheld Jessica Reznicek’s excessive sentence for vandalism aimed at stopping the Dakota Access pipeline by Natasha Lennard, The Intercept, June 8, 2022

Stop Cop City

Stop Cop City (SCC) or Defend Atlanta Forest is a decentralized social movement in AtlantaGeorgiaUnited States, whose goal is to stop construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center by the Atlanta Police Foundation and the City of Atlanta. Opponents of the facility are concerned about the growth of policing in the city, which has witnessed several protests against police violence following the 2020 murder of George Floyd and the killing of Rayshard Brooks,[2] both by police officers.[3]

The proposed location for the facility is the Old Atlanta Prison Farm, and opponents of the facility particularly object to this location because of its history and because destruction of the forest conflicts with their concerns about environmental justice, and attempts to preserve the land as an urban park and conservation area.[4]

Stop Cop City, Wikipedia

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