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Stop Cop City - SisterLove Stands Up to Defend Atlanta Forest From Police Brutality

A black banner that reads "Stop Cop City"

SisterLove stands against the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, a project that echoes the unsettling echoes of colonization, exploitation, and systemic violence.

On June 5, 2023 the Atlanta City Council approved funding for the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, popularly known as “Cop City”.

"This construction reflects city officials and large corporations' inherent belief that marginalized communities are irredeemable."

SisterLove believes that it’s imperative to name this construction for what it is, an attack on humanity, a catalyst for a police state, and threat to an already sensitive environment.

The Atlanta Public Safety Training Center is in development to be used as a practice facility for police and firefighters. The training center consists of an emergency vehicle operating course, firing ranges, simulated buildings, among other constructional additions.

Atlanta PD Officers wearing military uniforms
Atlanta PD Officers

Atlanta owns 400 acres of land in the area once owned by the Muscogee Creek Nation. The city plans to use 85 acres for the training center, 30 acres for continued green space, and the rest as dedicated public space.

a diagram of the proposed building site for Cop City Atlanta
The $67 million dollar facility would utilize over 100 acres

According to the mayor’s office's May 26th statement, the original cost to build the Center increased from $31 million taxpayer dollars to $67 million taxpayer dollars on a facility that many Atlanta residents do not want. Hundreds of people gave public commentary at Monday’s city council meeting voicing their opposition to the construction.

A large room full of protestors against Cop City Atlanta
Cop City protestors arrive at Atlanta City Council Meeting

The construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training center continues the United States' legacy of colonization, exploitation, racism and structural violence.

Manuel Paez Terán smiling in forest
Manuel Paez Terán was shot 57 times by Atlanta PD

On the heels of “Cop City” protesters' arrests and the police murder of an unarmed protester, the city of Atlanta continues to press on with its construction plans.

The construction of this center contributes to an atmosphere of paranoia and danger through its inclusion of civilian participation in center activities, such as the neighborhood watch.

The center also solidifies institutional violence through policing and surveillance of all citizens.

“Cop City” does not prevent crime within or violence against communities. “Cop City” is inherently reactive. The training center bolsters networks of oppression through its maintenance of violent responses. The construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training center reflects city officials and large corporations' inherent belief that marginalized communities are irredeemable.

A graffiti painting of pigs dressed in police uniform

Rather than investing the tens of billions of dollars going into the construction of this satellite arm of colonial and racist violence, these funds could be invested in actual methods of crime and violence reduction and prevention. These include investing in education, safe and affordable housing, and well paying employment opportunities.

Protestors holding a banner that reads "Stop Cop City"

In a city still recovering from COVID-19’s drastic impacts on healthcare, education, housing, and employment, the $67 million would be better used addressing these issues, as they also have been proven to reduce crime.

A street painting that reads "Defund the Police"

Marginalized communities deserve to be nourished, not criminalized, punished, and condemned for their responses to living within networks of oppression and violence.

A protestor holding a fist

SisterLove supports the right to live in environments free from state-sanctioned violence. The Atlanta Public Safety Training center does not hold police accountable for the violence they enact over communities, instead it supports the use of police violence.

If you object to Cop City, please join SisterLove in supporting the referendum campaign, putting this issue on the ballot. Sign our petition to Stop Cop City


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