Defend the Weelaunee Forest and Stop Cop City
Our Fights against White Supremacy, Police Violence and the Climate Crisis Are Interconnected
Climate Justice Means Taking a Stand Against Racism and State-Sponsored Violence.
In the wake of the George Floyd uprising of 2020, the Atlanta Police Foundation proposed a $90 million police training compound that would be used to train police from across the country, and around the world, in militarized tactics. The project would destroy hundreds of acres of the Weelaunee Forest, one of the largest urban forests in the country. The forest is a key resource to mitigate climate driven extreme heat and flooding in the surrounding majority Black communities.
A vast network of organizations and people have been resisting the project for over two years. The #StopCopCity movement has utilized a wide range of strategies, from community organizing, to direct action, call-in and email campaigns, and legal interventions which have successfully delayed construction of the project.
On January 18, 2023, a community member and Stop Cop City organizer named Tortuguita, was shot and killed by police while defending the forest. Climate Justice Alliance endorsed the statement of solidarity with the movement to Stop Cop City and Defend the Weelaunee Forest, and joined over 1300 groups in calling for an independent investigation of Tortuguita’s death.
Despite this growing opposition to the project, on February 1, 2023, the City of Atlanta approved the final permits for Cop City. Forest defenders from across the US and the world saw the urgent need to respond and converged for a mass mobilization in Atlanta (March 4-11). Police raided a concert that was part of the mobilization in the Weelaunee and arrested 23 people. A total of 42 people now face Georgia state ‘domestic terrorism’ charges in the unprecedented crackdown on opponents of this corporate-sponsored paramilitary police training center. This is a critical moment in the campaign to Defend the Weelaunee Forest and Stop Cop City, and a critical moment in the abolition and climate justice movements.
In Opposition to “Cop City” and In Defense of Black Life & Mother Earth, Climate Justice Alliance Stands with Mobilizations in Atlanta
Click here to read the statement that was released on March 9, 2023 by Dwaign Tyndal, Melissa Miles, Kirtrina Baxter, and Leah Humphrey, the Co-Chairs of Climate Justice Alliance’s Black Caucus.
🧵Write to the #StopCopCity political prisoners.
With resistance comes repression. Solidarity is our weapon. Prisoner addresses in the thread below.
Artwork by @keithnegley pic.twitter.com/irEN5mFSib
— Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) 🌻 (@CJAOurPower) March 25, 2023
The land slated for development into Cop City has long been the site of racialized violence: the land was violently stolen from the Muscogee (Creek) nation, later became the site of a 19th century slave plantation, and was a forced labor camp (the Old Atlanta Prison Farm) as late as the 1990s.
Follow these groups for information and updates.
A vast network of organizations and people have been resisting the project for over two years.
— Cooperation Jackson (@CooperationJXN) February 14, 2023
The construction of Cop City would be a manifestation of environmental racism. The communities surrounding the proposed location of Cop City are predominantly Black and flood regularly. #stopcopcity pic.twitter.com/uLpqiDTq3l
— Community Movement Builders (@CommunityMvt) February 17, 2023
@rancidnancy Lets help Stop Cop City by pulling our $$ out of the Cop City banks! BofA, Wells Fargo, Chase, Truist, Cadence: We’re coming for you!! Lets get it going and switch our banks folks! #StopCopCity #DefendWeelauneeForest #Divest #Tortuguita ♬ original sound – rancidnancy
Find a Target and Take Action
Stop Cop City Solidarity created this interactive target map, that shows the corporations and institutions that are responsible for the Cop City project. Find a target in your community and take action to #StopCopCity. Every action has an impact.
Mass Arrests in Atlanta During the Week of Action
Mass Mobilization in Atlanta
In response to the murder of Tortuguita, and the approval of Cop City’s final permit, frontline organizers called for a large scale mobilization in Atlanta from March 4-11.
People from across the country converged in Atlanta to stop Cop City, to defend the Weelaunee Forest, and honor the life of Tortuguita. They were met with violence and repression.
In total, 42 people from the Stop Cop City Movement and the South River Music Festival have been arrested and charged with domestic terrorism.
Click here for more information and to get involved in the organizing.
Defending the Atlanta Forest:
Behind the Movement to Stop Cop City
Hear from the people on the ground in Atlanta, Georgia in this October 2022 Unicorn Riot documentary about their efforts to protect the Weelaunee forest and the people from the Atlanta Police Foundation’s Public Safety Training Center (aka “Cop City”).
Roy Wood Jr. Explores Police Militarization & Atlanta’s “Cop City” | The Daily Show
Police vs. Atlanta: The Battle Over Cop City | AJ+
The Forest Defense Fund supports the work of the broad coalition dedicated to saving the Atlanta Forest.
The Atlanta Solidarity Fund is providing critical legal and bail support for people arrested at protests in Atlanta.
Support the family of Manuel “Tortuguita” Páez Terán, who was murdered by the police while defending the Weelaune Forest.