Amid a national backlash against the climate justice and Black lives movements, the assaults on protesters of Cop City in Atlanta stand out for their brutality. Activists are fighting the clearing of 85 acres of a forest just south of the city to build a $90 million police training site geared to urban warfare.
Atlanta’s Democratic mayor and Georgia’s Republican governor back the corporate-supported facility to the hilt. Georgia state troopers killed forest occupier Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, known as Tortuguita, during a January raid, claiming self-defense in defiance of the facts. Forty-one activists have been charged with “domestic terrorism” and face up to 35 years in prison. After property was damaged at the construction site, the 23 most recent arrestees were rounded up arbitrarily from a music festival held as part of a week of action.
The powers-that-be are trying to determine just how far they can go to stop rebellion against their exploitation and domination. Freedom fighters of all stripes have work to do in uniting to prevent the utter shredding of civil liberties.
For how to help those under attack now in Atlanta, see defendtheatlantaforest.org/solidarity.