The fight in Atlanta over Cop City, a massive police training facility, has turned into ground zero for overlapping crises facing our country: the climate emergency, vast political and economic inequality, ever-militarizing police forces and systemic racism.
If we want a democracy healthy enough to solve these crises, it’s worth paying attention to what is happening in the South River Forest.
On May 31, in a disturbing move shortly before Atlanta’s City Council approved more funding for the facility, Georgia law enforcement arrested three members of the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, which provides activists with legal support and bail money.
Organized bail support for activists is a longstanding tradition, exemplified by the historical precedent of churches and community groups raising funds to bail Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders out of jail. Now, however, the authorities are deeming such acts “money laundering” and “charity fraud.”
In reality, the fund was targeted for supporting the Stop Cop City movement, which opposes the police training facility.