Activists Across the Country Protest Planned “Cop City” in Atlanta

Activists in several states across the United States are protesting the construction of a new law enforcement training center set to be built in Atlanta.

Activists have nicknamed the planned training center “Cop City.” It is expected to cost $90 million dollars and take up 85 acres in the Weelaunee Forest just outside of Atlanta. If constructed, the facility will be the largest police training facility in the U.S. and will include a  mock city that police will use to train for “real-world” scenarios, such as the brutal crowd control of protests.

Despite widespread community opposition, the local government in Atlanta has pushed forward with the project. While millions of tax-payer funds will be used toward the construction of the “Cop City” project, it comes at a time where Atlanta has recently closed one of its largest hospitals – the Atlanta Medical Center Hospital – due to funding issues.

In addition to tax-payer funding, the facility is being partially funded by the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF). To supplement the already bloated budgets that police departments receive through public funding, police foundations are another mechanism that the ruling class relies upon to funnel money directly into the coffers of police departments.

Watchdog organization LittleSis has illustrated that the “Cop City” project is being directly funded by donations made to the APF from powerful corporations such as Amazon and JP Morgan Chase, along with several other major corporations which are headquartered in Atlanta such as Delta Airlines, Home Depot, and the United Parcel Service (UPS).

In response to this, Atlanta-based activists have started a campaign called Stop Cop City and are attempting to organize a series of protests and actions to prevent construction of the facility, which is due to start towards the end of 2023. During a protest against the facility last week, state troopers from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation shot and killed Manuel “Tortuguita” Teran, a local activist, sparking a night of protests that caused Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to declare a state of emergency in Atlanta.

The situation is still developing and activists may be successful in building a powerful enough opposition to shut the project down. Regardless of how this situation develops, it is clear to see how this project is driven by the priorities of the ruling class, who rely on the police to enforce their system of brutal social inequality. We stand in solidarity with protests to Stop Cop City!