The newly formed People’s Campaign to Stop Cop City brings together environmental groups, communities of faith, and social justice groups to join the movement to Stop Cop City.
Press Contacts: Tim Franzen 404-414-5521, Marcus Coleman 404-964-1223
Press Conference – 11:30 am – Outside ATL City Hall, 68 Mitchell St. SW
Finance Committee meeting – 1:30 pm – ATL City Hall Main council chambers
The People’s Campaign is a new coalition committed to using Kingian nonviolence to Save the Atlanta Forest and de-escalate the militarization of Atlanta police. We invite you to join us as we create the pressure that our City Council needs to break from this terribly destructive project. Right now, the Atlanta Police Foundation is demanding $33.5 million from the city, and without it, they will have difficulty financing the construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Center, commonly referred to as Cop City. A proposal has already been introduced by Councilperson Hillis at the last full council meeting. The next step for this legislation is to move through the Finance Committee on Wednesday, May 24th.
“Environmental racism is race-based discrimination in environmental policymaking, enforcement of regulations and laws, and targeting communities of color for the siting of toxic and polluting industries resulting in disproportionate harm, and the police training facility checks all boxes,” states Jackie Echols, Board President of South River Watershed Alliance. Her statement continues, “It is the responsibility of local government to ensure equity and fairness for its most vulnerable and marginalized citizens and communities. This means finding an alternative that does not destroy this community or any community – it can be done; it should be done. It is the right thing to do – no one deserves this.”
“This project checks all boxes and represents environmental racism at its worst. It is hard to believe that the mayor and city council are supporting it, but here we are.” States Save Our Selves founder Marcus Coleman. In “the city too busy to hate,” the birthplace of Dr. King and arguably the home of the civil rights movement, it’s becoming increasingly, yet painfully obvious that Atlanta’s morality and reputation are at an all-time low! “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”. ~ MLK.
There are many reasons our alliance has come together to join the movement to Stop Cop City and defend the Atlanta Forest. They include:
- In 2017 the community was promised that the land would be protected as a park.
- Atlanta is the 38th biggest city in America, we simply do not need the most militarized training center in country.
- The South River is one of the most endangered rivers in the country due in large part to pollution from the City of Atlanta , building this center will make it much worse.
- The circumstances surrounding the killing of Manuel Paez Terán by police are suspicious at best and at its worst point to a major cover-up involving multiple law enforcement agencies,
- Mowing down the “Lungs of the city” while the temperature continues to soar to historic levels due to climate change seems short sighted and unwise.
- This project will result in irreparable harm to surrounding environmental justice communities and their environment.
- We reject the further militarization of our police.
- We believe there are better uses for the $33.5 million the Atlanta Police Foundation is demanding from our city.
The People’s Campaign to stop cop city includes; The Sierra Club Georgia Chapter, Georgia Conservation Voters, South River Watershed Alliance, Save Our Self, American Friends Service Committee, Atlanta DSA, and many others.