Stop Cop City
What is Cop City?
The City of Atlanta has leased 381 acres of Weelaunee Forest to the Atlanta Police Foundation for a militarized police training facility funded by corporations. At the price of 90 million dollars, it includes a mock city to practice urban warfare, tear gas and explosives testing, dozens of shooting ranges, and a Black Hawk helicopter landing pad. Supported by the Atlanta Committee for Progress, which is composed of over 40 corporate elites including the CEOs of Coca-Cola, Home Depot and Cox, its aim is to further the surveillance of the population, stifling dissent, and gentrification of the city.
How were the #StopCopCity & #DefendtheAtlantaForest movements born?
The idea of “Cop City” emerged immediately after the national uprisings of 2020 in Atlanta. Community Movement Builders and others mobilized around the police murder of Rashad Brooks. While we were calling for divesting from the police, community control over public safety and investing in alternatives that enhance public safety, the Corporate establishment and political Black-misleadership of the City of Atlanta started planning the $90 million ($60 million from corporations and $30 million from the City) complex to demonstrate their commitment to police and to develop a tactical site that could stop mass movements and continue the harassment of Black poor and working class communities. These institutions worked with corporate media to shift the public narrative from police violence to a focus on “crime,” where the police were again centered as the solution to all our problems.
Once the plans to build Cop City became known, CMB joined our allies to inform the public and the opposition to Cop City emerged immediately. We were able to move and demonstrate that public opinion was against Cop City. Calls to the city council on the night of their vote to lease the public forest to the Atlanta Police Foundation showed that 70 percent of Atlanta was opposed to Cop City. Yet the Council and the Mayor moved forward.
In June 2021, after we called, testified and met with officials to no avail, the movement began holding rallies. Demonstrators were immediately pepper-sprayed, attacked, threatened and violently arrested by the police. These tactics by the police escalated when forest defenders committed acts of civil disobedience by making the forest their home to stop the tearing down of Weelaunee forest.
In January 2023, the City and State headed by right wing Governor Kemp escalated their attacks creating a police “task force” made up of the Atlanta Police Department, the DeKalb County Police Department, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security. The Task Force began arresting those engaged in “civil disobedience” simply by camping in the forest and charging them with domestic terrorism. On January 18th, additional raids took place with more arrest and the killing of a forest defender, Manuel “Tortuguita” Teran.
What Can You Do to Stop Cop City?
- Tell Mayor Dickens to End the Lease with Atlanta Police Foundation.
- Tell the City Council to take another vote it’s possible for the Mayor and City Council to reverse the decision. Keep up the pressure and call/email City Council and Mayoral incumbents and candidates! See call script & more here.
- Put pressure on investors in the project to divest from Cop City.
- Sign the Petition Demanding corporations divest from Cop City.
- Pressure builders of the project to drop their construction contracts.
- Participate and Organize in solidarity events where you live. Rallies, Banner Drops, Creative Civil Disobedience, Petition Drives, etc. Send us pictures of what you did email@example.com.
- Donate to CMB – CMB has been the leading Black organization on the ground fighting to StopCopCity since its construction was announced.
What Are Our Demands?
- StopCopCity! We demand the City of Atlanta end the building of Cop City – Not In Weelaunee Forest, Not Anywhere!
- Drop the Charges! We demand the immediate dropping of “Domestic Terrorism” charges against all organizers, activists and Forest Defenders.
- Justice for Tortiguita! We demand an independent investigation into the killing of Tortiguita. Only the family and their representatives can conduct an independent investigation – Not the GBI, State of Georgia, Dekalb County or Federal authorities!
- Respect the Land! We demand the City of Atlanta keep its promise to leave Weelaunee Forest intact and give it back to the surrounding community.
- Divest! We demand corporations and institutions divest from Cop City.
- Disarm & Invest! We demand community control over any so-called public safety apparatus that interacts with the community. We call for the creation of non-armed respondents to traffic stops, houseless people and mental health calls. We demand re-allocation of policing funds into community programs that actually promote safety, like affordable housing, youth support, economic development.
Tell Corporations to Divest from Cop City
Black communities will be especially harmed by the police expansion and militarization that Cop City represents. Sign our petition to let corporate funders know that their dirty money is not welcome here.