JANUARY 31, 2023

“...I want you to stay angry. I want you to stay frustrated. But channel that anger. Harness that frustration. Keep pushing harder and harder for more and more, because that’s what’s required to meet this challenge.

"Gird yourself for a marathon, not a sprint, for solving a problem this big, this complex and this important has never happened all at once...”

— Barack Obama, Remarks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26)


"...I suspect that we will begin to reveal the landmarks of 'polluter capitalism,' environmental racism and racial capitalism. If we do not face these issues squarely and resolutely then not even a hundred-year deadline will be enough time to save us from our own folly, greed and fear..." 

There is a strong convergence between the Stop Cop City/Defend Atlanta Forest movement and gentrification, environmental justice, climate justice, criminal justice reform, and other aspects of social justice. There are approximately 85 acres of planned construction area occupied by African-Americans and Latinos, a parcel of land once known as “Weelaunee” when held by indigenous Muscogees. It was subsequently stolen by colonists, turned into a plantation, and eventually into a prison farm. With such a tragic history, this land seems cursed but for the cover of trees, the very blessing developers seek to destroy. 

Public safety is imperative, however the creation of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center will further erode it by not only increasing the likelihood of acute events resulting from excessive force and deadly force (apropos "Tortuguita"), but also by exacerbating current environmental problems such as flooding and poor air quality by removing the tree canopy. There is no requirement for a Black Hawk helicopter pad or a shooting range in order to conduct training in de-escalation. It appears that the Potemkin village-style school and movie theater were intended to provide training for close quarter combat situations in the event of an active shooter. It is more appropriate to pass more effective gun control legislation and to prohibit access to assault weapons for most civilians rather than constructing this obstacle course.

During this time, one should not remain silent, sit idly by, or keep one's head down. As much power and influence as possible should be brought to bear in order to peacefully force a renegotiation of this construction project. This should be done keeping in mind the wishes of the residents and the fragility of the environment in which they live.


  •  Cop City is FLETC HQ on steroids. Giving police more military training and weapons will lead to more killings like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tyre Nichols and Manuel "Tortuguita" Teran.

  •  Because Atlanta has more trees than any other American city, they have less smog. Cutting trees down to build Cop City will ruin the environment.

  • Get off the sidelines and support the movement the best way you know how.