The Atlanta Police Foundation is trying to build the largest police training facility in the U.S. in Weelaunee Forest, a watershed surrounded by primarily Black residents who overwhelmingly oppose the project.
The plans include military-grade training facilities and a mock city to practice urban warfare.
A precious and beautiful urban forest will be destroyed if this is built.
This facility will serve as a training center for militarized police forces throughout the U.S. For what purpose? Could it be aimed at the repression of poor people, BIPOC people, LGBTQ people and those who dissent? Given the experience of policing in this country, how could anyone think otherwise?
People are resisting in Atlanta and are committed to stopping this facility from being built. And they are being met by police and prosecutorial repression. One nonviolent forest protector, known as Tortuguita, has been shot and killed by the police, and 42 others have been falsely charged with felony domestic terrorism.
It is easy to see how the increasing militarization of police forces at home mirrors the use of U.S. armed forces around the world. In whose interest is all of this, we should ask? Many of us see it as the enforcement of white supremacy and the exploitation of land and people for the benefit of the wealthy class.
In Asheville, policing has been used to criminalize the homeless and those who act to provide mutual aid to them. The Asheville Police Department will likely be invited to the Cop City training center if it is allowed to be built. We don’t need or want our local police getting such training.
Stop Cop City now.
— Ken Jones