“Cop City” is a proposed extensive facility to train police and firefighters. To also train police from other states. This is in direct opposition to growing calls to reform policing. This photo was from our action to support “No Cop City” in Des Moines on January 31, 2023.
Activists search for multiple ways to bring attention to injustices. In 2013 the Keystone Pledge of Resistance targeted the application for the Keystone XL pipeline to cross the US-Canada border. This decision was solely in the hands of President Obama. After months of organizing and rallies against the pipeline, Obama decided to deny the permit. This was the first major win in the fight against the fossil fuel industry.
There are many reasons to oppose “Cop City”, but perhaps the most significant is the need to stop militarizing policing in this country.
Other efforts have failed, and there is now a call to bring national attention to Nationwide Insurance Company, one of the companies insuring the Cop City project. Without valid insurance, construction cannot occur. Plans are being made for a solidarity action in Des Moines.
As has been noted previously, the APF (Atlanta Police Foundation) cannot build Cop City alone–they rely on a hired support network of architects, engineers, contractors, and others to build it for them. One of the most critical pillars of this support structure is insurance. Without a valid insurance policy covering APF’s liability in the event of injury to workers or damage to property, construction cannot occur.
A Certificate of Insurance dated February 24, 2023 shows two companies providing insurance to the APF: the first is Scottsdale Insurance Co., a subsidiary of the well-known Fortune 500 company Nationwide; the second is Accident Fund General Insurance Company, a much smaller agency based in Lansing, Michigan. The broker for the policy is Amanda Surface from Correll Insurance Group, a small insurance company based out of South Carolina.https://www.srycampaign.org/2023/03/26/meet-the-insurance-providers-behind-cop-city/
A controversial police training facility needs more than $30 million from Atlanta taxpayers. But during more than seven hours of public comment at a packed city council meeting on Monday, hundreds of locals expressed unanimous opposition to the project.
The Atlanta Public Safety Training Center—called “Cop City” by challengers—is a proposed $90 million, 85-acre police training ground slated for construction in Atlanta’s South River Forest. The project has seen opposition from environmental, racial justice, and indigenous rights activists, who argue that the project will cut down a forest on historically Native American land and fuel aggressive policing. After a series of protester arrests, and the killing of one activist by police, the project is now close to breaking ground. And opposition is louder than ever.
“I’ve been to City Hall for some years now,” Micah Herskind, an Atlanta-based community organizer who attended the Monday meeting, told The Daily Beast. “But until the Monday city council hearing, “I’ve never seen the line at the door, even, of where the public comment sign up is. It was out the door, around the whole second floor, winding down the stairs, and then eventually went out through the building, through the security line. I’ve never seen anything like it. And not only did masses of people show up, they showed up literally 100 percent against Cop City. We did a complete tally of public comments. 100 percent of commenters were against Cop City.”Atlanta Activists Are Racing to Stop $33.5 Million ‘Cop City’ Funding by Kelly Weill, The Daily Beast, May 16, 2023
Before any lasting peace may be achieved, however, the Stop Cop City movement must reverse the current state system that militarized police against its own citizens. This gave rise to the construction of Cop City in the first place. We must not only use any available means to cause public and digital disruption of complacency such as transforming social media into platforms of social education and change, creating community gardens and forums to exchange food and information, marching, joining grassroots networks dedicated to charity and social justice, donating money and time to those networks and building Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of beloved communities. We will create a place that empowers one another and turns the tide against open militarization.
We must direct our eyes beyond our present obstacle — Cop City — and into the heart of racial and capital hierarchy, which causes these state-led attacks on Americans. To the soon-to-be-ex-mayor Andre Dickens, ex-mayor Bottoms and the APD’s corporate cronies, we are Atlanta.
In the words of our forest defenders, “we are nature defending itself. We are seeds, building our root systems. Alone we go fast, together we go far.” And in the words of our late friend and sibling Tortuguita, “Fear is the mind killer.”
Viva Tortuguita!GUEST COLUMN: How the Stop Cop City movement persists in the face of the police state by Andrew Benzinger, Guest Columnist, The Red and Black, Mar 30, 2023 Updated Apr 12, 2023
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