On January 18, Atlanta police murdered Manuel “Tortuguita” Teran, a younger queer activist, forest defender, and skilled medic. This police killing was a part of an assault on protesters who’ve been resisting the destruction of the Weelaunee Forest to construct a $90 million “cop metropolis,” a coaching floor for police to be taught new techniques to terrorize Black, Brown, and working-class communities.
As well as, the police have been violently repressing protests in Atlanta towards Cop Metropolis and in honor of Tortuguita. Now, a number of environmental activists have been charged with “home terrorism,” whereas Tortuguita’s assassin stays uncharged. It is a blatant try to criminalize and intimidate activists.
The assault on the activists opposing Cop Metropolis exhibits as soon as once more that police are the enemies of local weather defenders, Black and Brown individuals, and the working-class. The cops are instruments of capitalism. They won’t hesitate to homicide utilizing violence and trumped up expenses with a view to implement environmental destruction for revenue.
Left Voice endorses the assertion launched by the autonomous motion to Defend The Atlanta Forest. We republish the assertion beneath and echo the motion’s name for solidarity with their motion.
We name on all individuals of excellent conscience to face in solidarity with the motion to cease Cop Metropolis and defend the Weelaunee Forest in Atlanta.
On January 18, in the middle of their newest militarized raid on the forest, police in Atlanta shot and killed an individual. That is solely the latest of a sequence of violent police retaliations towards the motion. The official narrative is that Cop Metropolis is critical to make Atlanta “protected,” however this brutal killing reveals what they imply after they use that phrase.
Forests are the lungs of planet Earth. The destruction of forests impacts all of us. So do the gentrification and police violence that the bulldozing of Weelaunee Forest would facilitate. What is going on in Atlanta is just not an area challenge.
Politicians who help Cop Metropolis have tried to discredit forest defenders as “outdoors agitators.” This smear has a disgraceful historical past within the South, the place authorities have used it towards abolitionists, labor organizers, and the Civil Rights Motion, amongst others. The aim of those that unfold this narrative is to discourage solidarity and isolate communities from one another whereas providing a pretext to usher in state and federal forces, who’re the precise “outdoors agitators.” The consequence of that technique is on full show within the tragedy of January 18.
Changing a forest with a police coaching heart will solely create a extra violently policed society, through which taxpayer sources enrich police and weapons corporations reasonably than addressing social wants. Mass incarceration and police militarization have did not deliver down crime or enhance situations for poor and working-class communities.
In Atlanta and throughout the US, funding in police budgets comes on the expense of entry to meals, schooling, childcare, and healthcare, of inexpensive and steady housing, of parks and public areas, of transit and the free motion of individuals, of financial stability for the numerous. Concentrating sources within the palms of police serves to defend the intense accumulation of wealth and energy by firms and the very wealthy.
What do cops do with their elevated budgets and their carte blanche from politicians? They kill individuals, each single day. They incarcerate and traumatize schoolchildren, mother and father, family members who’re merely struggling to outlive. We should not accept a society organized recklessly upon the values of violence, racism, greed, and careless indifference to life.
The battle that’s taking part in out in Atlanta is a contest for the longer term. Because the catastrophic results of local weather change hammer our communities with hurricanes, warmth waves, and forest fires, the stakes of this contest are clearer than ever. It’s going to decide whether or not those that come after us inherit an inhabitable Earth or a police state nightmare. It’s as much as us to create a peaceable society that doesn’t deal with human life as expendable.
The forest defenders are attempting to create a greater world for all of us. We owe it to the individuals of Atlanta and to future generations in every single place to help them.
Listed below are some methods to help the protection of the forest in Atlanta:
- Donate to the Atlanta Solidarity Fund to help authorized prices for arrested protestors and ongoing authorized motion.
- Name on buyers within the undertaking to divest from Cop Metropolis (list of APF investors). Name on builders of the project to drop their development contracts.
- Manage political solidarity bail funds, forest protection funds, and forest protection committees the place you reside.
- Take part in or arrange native solidarity actions.
- Endorse and flow into this assertion of solidarity. E-mail [email protected].
Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.