Thanks for your interest in the fight to Stop Cop City and Defend the Atlanta Forest. I am part of an emerging coalition in Connecticut building solidarity events and raising funds for Atlanta Forest Defenders. On Tuesday, Feb. 7, we had our first meeting with around forty activists and community members from around the state. Coalition participants include members of Sunrise CT, 350CT, Service Employees International Union, Connecticut Climate Crisis Mobilization (C3M), Workers’ Voice, National Education Association, Herban Bridge Allies, Save Remington Woods, CT DSA EcoSocialists, Greater New Haven NAACP, and more. We hope to substantially expand individual and organizational supporters.
The next planning meeting will be on Zoom, Thursday Feb. 16 @ 7PM. Please register here!
For updates, we suggest following the coalition’s Instagram: @stopcopcityct
We ask that supporters share this email with friends, family, coworkers, and their organizing lists!
Stop Cop City CT Coalition is calling for pickets against major Cop City supporters during a nationwide week of action from Feb. 19-26. Connecticut is home to AXA XL Reinsurer’s international headquarters. AXA XL is the main insurance company backing the project and has been identified as the main target of activists’ corporate campaign.
The current week of action plan includes mass flyering and postering every day, as well as in-person pickets:
Monday Feb. 20, 11AM-1PM
AXA XL Headquarters, 677 Washington Blvd, Stamford, CT
Friday Feb. 24, 11AM-1PM
Atlas Technical Consultants, 290 Roberts St, East Hartford, CT
More Information about Cop City and the movement against it!
Cop City is the name given by the movement to a proposed massive new police training facility in Atlanta. The construction of Cop City would be a major blow to local ecosystems as well as the civil liberties and general comfort of surrounding communities, which are composed of majority working class Black people. Specifically, Cop City would be used to conduct large-scale training on militarized urban policing in the vein of the SCORPION unit in Memphis whose officers recently brutally murdered Tyre Nichols. Residents in surrounding communities already complain about the sounds of gunshots regularly emanating from the police shooting range in the area slated for the training center’s development.
Cop City also entails a major destruction of potentially hundreds of acres of the Atlanta/Weelaunee Forest, which would add to urban heating and flooding as well as destroy an important public community space. The run-off from construction and use of the facility, as well as increased soil erosion, will have poor effects on the important and vulnerable South River. Local communities, which are predominantly Black and working class, are already suffering from worsening flooding due to climate change and erosion and deforestation in the forest. The construction of Cop City is a textbook example of environmental racism. At every moment of public comment, the vast majority of community members have voiced extreme opposition to the project, including over 17 hours of public testimony to the City Council before the latter voted for approving the project.
Local police, CEOs, and media have been portraying the movement to Stop Cop City in various negative ways, but the reality is that the vast majority of actions have been community building events – including potlucks/cookouts, forest clean-ups, and peaceful demonstrations often led by young children from Atlanta. In recent days, labor leader Chris Smalls (Amazon Labor Union) as well as students from the Atlanta University Center, a group of allied HBCUs, have spoken outpublicly against Cop City. 33 faculty members at Morehouse College (a component of the AUC) recently released an Open Letter denouncing Cop City.
The government in Georgia, with support from city, County, and Federal police units, has launched a severe crackdown on civil liberties. In the last two months, nineteen activists have been arrested and charged with “domestic terrorism” despite a total lack of evidence. Police officers shot and killed a protestor, Manuel (Manny) “Tortuguita” Paéz Terán, with a story that keeps changing and contradicts the narratives from other activists as well as unaffiliated community members. Recently released bodycam footage appears to further contradict the cop’s original story. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency, which is ongoing, that gives him unilateral power to shut down any organized demonstration with force and can mobilize up to 1000 National Guards members for this purpose. These are chilling escalations in a growing state of repression against protest rights which could have national ramifications.
Building solidarity with the movement in Atlanta to Stop Cop City is essential for all of us that support civil liberties and oppose all forms of racism and ecological destruction.