Final week, police in Atlanta shot and killed a protester in opposition to the police division’s plans to show 300 acres of forest right into a police coaching compound, often called the ‘Cop Metropolis’. The Defend the Atlanta Forest wrote:
On January 18, in the midst 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 in opposition to the motion.
26-year-old Manuel Teran – also called Tortuguita – was shot during a raid on the Atlanta forest safety camp on Wednesday 18 January.
A witness reported listening to a sequence of 10 to 12 gunshots after which a loud growth as police raided the camp.
A press release from the Atlanta Group Press Collective mentioned:
Since June 6, 2022, activists and neighborhood members preventing to Defend the Atlanta Forest and Cease Cop Metropolis have been demanding that officers cease bringing weapons into the forest after APD pointed their weapons at peaceable protestors.
The police are reporting that they had been fired on by protesters, however that is denied by the campaigners.
The Defend the Atlanta Forest marketing campaign tweeted out a quote from Tortuguita, the place they talked about the specter of state violence in opposition to them, as an individual of color. Tortuguita mentioned that they refused to let the concern of state violence cease them from resisting:
“Am I frightened of the state? Fairly foolish to not be. I’m a brown individual. I is likely to be killed by the police for present in sure areas. [But] concern is the thoughts killer … you possibly can’t let the concern cease you from doing issues, from dwelling, from present, from resisting.”
– Tortuguita pic.twitter.com/RodTldwQGT
— Defend the Atlanta Forest (@defendATLforest) January 23, 2023
Tortuguita’s demise has sparked solidarity actions throughout the US:
— Defend the Atlanta Forest (@defendATLforest) January 24, 2023
On Saturday, supporters of the motion to #StopCopCity in Tucson, AZ marched to a Financial institution of America, a serious funder of the Atlanta Police Basis, and hung a banner stating “B-of-A Funds ATL’s Murderous Cops / Cease Cop Metropolis.”
Learn their assertion right here: https://t.co/GOjeiXvnQy pic.twitter.com/QMuV08TgX0
— Atlanta Group Press Collective (@atlanta_press) January 23, 2023
The solidarity protests have been met by police violence and repression:
Simply police exhibiting the precise brutality these activists are protesting https://t.co/3Pvax59tQk
— Seth Inexperienced (@SethGreen) January 22, 2023
Defund the police
The Defend the Atlanta Forest campaign has issued a statement – signed by tons of of teams and people – explaining the significance of defending the forest. It reads:
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 just isn’t an area difficulty.
The statement explains how the coaching centre will solely result in extra violence and repression in society:
Changing a forest with a police coaching heart will solely create a extra violently policed society, during which taxpayer sources enrich police and weapons firms moderately than addressing social wants. Mass incarceration and police militarization have did not convey down crime or enhance situations for poor and working-class communities.
Defend the forest
The campaigners say that growing police budgets comes at nice expense to society:
In Atlanta and throughout the US, funding in police budgets comes on the expense of entry to meals, training, childcare, and healthcare, of inexpensive and secure housing, of parks and public areas, of transit and the free motion of individuals, of financial stability for the various. Concentrating sources within the fingers of police serves to defend the intense accumulation of wealth and energy by companies and the very wealthy.
What do cops do with their elevated budgets and their carte blanche from politicians? They kill folks, each single day. They incarcerate and traumatize schoolchildren, dad and mom, 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 enjoying out in Atlanta is a contest for the longer term
The statement ends with a name to help the marketing campaign:
The forest defenders are attempting to create a greater world for all of us. We owe it to the folks of Atlanta and to future generations all over the place to help them.
Featured picture via Democracy Now/screenshot, cropped to 770×403