Students at the Atlanta University Center and Morehouse College denounce the building of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center (Cop City)
DEMANDS OF MOREHOUSE COLLEGE STUDENTS
- We demand that Morehouse College denounce and sever their support in building the “Public Safety Training Center” in our Atlanta community, which is referred to as “Cop City”.
- We demand President Thomas dissent, as a Board Member of the Atlanta Committee for Progress, against their support of the creation of Cop City.
- We call the student body to action. We must advocate for the reallocation of the 30 million of taxpayer dollars to be invested in the Atlanta community.
- We demand that President Thomas align himself with these demands and join us to fight against every contribution to over policing.
Streamed live on Feb 2, 2023.MOREHOUSE COLLEGE CROWN FORUM: Chris Smalls | Amazon Labor Union | TALKING RACE AND WORKER RIGHTS!
The real Fighters and the real leaders are right here in this room and understand that Jay-Z and all these other billionaires like Oprah they’re not going to give us what we want, they’re just not. We have to understand that if we get the opportunity to we got to be the ones to pour back into our communities and not just pour back into our communities we got to build the community that we want to live with.
And let me tell you one that is one without police. Let’s tell you right now that’s one without police. That’s a mouthful and that’s definite. That’s a revolution. Chris Smalls, I want to thank you for the words that you’ve given us today and I want to start with something that you said, and I think it’s very important that we remember this. We are here to keep it real and keep it black. These students are here, these are Morehouse students and members and faculty of the community who agree that there is a problem. We are here to discuss a system that is historically and continuously oppressing our community. We are here to acknowledge the murder of Tyree Nichols.
We are here to address the construction of a mass police training center in Atlanta. And we are here to discuss Morehouse’s contributions to a system that does not serve black people. Morehouse, policing in America has not served our people their needs, their interests. It is not serving us. Morehouse has issued a statement referencing the murder of Tyree Nichols by law enforcement not only commemorating his life but to publicly endorse the mass militarization of the police. Morehouse has endorsed the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, also known as Cop City, for those who are unaware. Cop City is a Training Center built in a black community or planning to be built in a black community in Atlanta. The residents of Atlanta have descended its construction of the facility since its approval in September of 2021. There have been three years of peaceful protests, but the people have not been heard and the protests have resulted in violence. Two weeks ago, a protester was killed for believing what they thought was what they believed to be right standing against Cop City. And two days ago, Mayor Dickens of Atlanta addressed the building in this facility and not once did he acknowledge the problem of police brutality in our community. He alleged that Atlanta officers are already required to undergo civil rights history education training, but his team failed to address the murders of black people historically in Atlanta. The murder of Rayshard Brooks by APD or Anthony Hill a veteran with mental health issues who was undergoing amental health episode and was killed naked in the streets, these streets of DeKalb County where they plan to erect Cop City. There is an undeniable reality that police systems in our communities, across America, are terrorizing our people.
MOREHOUSE COLLEGE CROWN FORUM: Chris Smalls
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 10, 2023
MEDIA CONTACT: Kannette King
Students of the Atlanta University Center Denounce the Building of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center
Morehouse College Holds Private Forum with Mayor of Atlanta to Discuss Atlanta Public Safety Training Center
Atlanta, GA – On Thursday, February 2, 2023, students of the Atlanta University Center occupied a school-sanctioned event at Morehouse College. During the event, the students shared their concerns about the College’s association with the Atlanta Public Training Center, as well as the larger issue of systemic oppression and police brutality in the city of Atlanta.
Following the event, the students refused any private discussion of the Institution’s relationship with the training center, demanding a public forum for President Thomas to address all students’ concerns publically. The President organized a forum addressing the student body and invited Mayor Dickens to address the construction of the Atlanta Public Training Center. This raised a new concern address in the forum by the student speaker.
On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, Morehouse College hosted a private forum with the Mayor of Atlanta for students from the Atlanta University Center. Unfortunately, the forum was not open to the public and residents of the community were not given the opportunity to attend and express their concerns. Additionally, Clark Atlanta University personnel were not formally invited, and Spelman College only informed their students about the event an hour before it took place.
Despite these limitations, the President of Morehouse College allowed only one student to make a statement during the program, which was limited to five minutes in the ninety-minute forum. Many questions were left unanswered and students departed the event feeling disappointed in the condescending manner of communication from the Mayor. It appeared that the purpose of the Mayor and his staff was not to converse with the community about public concerns, but instead to propagate the need for an Atlanta Public Safety Training Center.
In conclusion, the intention of the forum was to address the concerns of students and the community, but it was clear that many of these concerns were not taken seriously. The students and residents of Atlanta deserve a platform where their voices can be heard and their concerns addressed in a meaningful way.
About Morehouse College: Founded in 1867, Morehouse College is a private, all-male, liberal arts institution located in Atlanta, GA. The College has a rich history of producing outstanding leaders and thinkers, and has a commitment to providing a transformative educational experience for its students.
About Atlanta University Center: The Atlanta University Center is a consortium of historically black colleges and universities located in Atlanta, GA. The consortium includes Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta University, and is dedicated to providing world-class educational opportunities for African American students.
Video of 02/02/23 Student Demonstration
Morehouse students issue demands, statement on Cop City
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
To the Morehouse Community,
The Graves Hall Bell, forged in 1886 from Bethlehem Steel in Baltimore, MD, serves as a Morehouse relic that was utilized to signify danger or celebration. Whenever there was a sign of external danger towards the campus grounds, the bell would be rung for students and staff to seek refuge to the nearest building in sight. The Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, Cop City, is a threat that is approaching our institution and community.
In 2016, The bell was rung to signify a universal danger, the election of Donald J. Trump. We find ourselves again in times of imminent danger. With the creation of Cop City, it is apparent the enemy is near. We must speak up about the development of Cop City, for its construction will only lead to more instances of police brutality and racial profiling within the Atlanta community. We, the concerned Morehouse students, understand the great moral hypocrisy of our institution supporting the implementation of this policing facility, and we can not allow this to go unnoticed.
The bell will ring!
From the Samuel T. Graves Era to the present day, this bell embodies the immense amount of triumph and strength that this institution has been able to endure. For these reasons, we will ring the bell in honor and support of its historical significance.
Signed, Students Allied to the Movement
DEMANDS OF MOREHOUSE COLLEGE
I. We demand that Morehouse College denounce and sever their support in building the “Public Safety Training Center” in our Atlanta community, which is referred to as “Cop City”.
II. We demand President Thomas dissent, as a Board Member of the Atlanta Committee for Progress, against their support of the creation of Cop City.
III. We call the student body to action. We must advocate for the reallocation of the 30 million of taxpayer dollars to be invested in the Atlanta community.
IV. We demand that President Thomas align himself with these demands and join us to fight against every contribution to over policing.