Stop Cop City: Free the activists!

At Sept. 2 rally, Kamau Franklin said: “The people of Atlanta don’t want more killer cops. The people of Atlanta don’t want death trap jails. The people want food, clothing, and shelter. Their demands will be met, one way or another.” Photo: Community Movement Builders

The Socialist Unity Party and Struggle-La Lucha newspaper condemn the indictment of 61 Atlanta-area activists on “anti-racketeering” charges related to the Stop Cop City movement. 

This is the latest in a string of repressive and violent moves by the state of Georgia and the city of Atlanta against a powerful and growing people’s movement to stop the intensification of racist police terror and environmental destruction. 

Among the “crimes” allegedly committed by the indicted activists are things like handing out flyers, attending benefit concerts, organizing jail support, and providing mutual aid – the kinds of activities carried out every day by progressive and community-based movements all over the country.

In January, Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán – a nonbinary activist defending the forest where Cop City is set to be built – was murdered in a hail of 57 bullets during an attack by multiple police agencies. True to form, the cops claimed Tortuguita fired first, but it was proven to be a lie – and an independent autopsy later confirmed that they were killed execution-style.

Republican Attorney General Chris Carr’s indictment gives the game away by dating the start of the so-called “conspiracy” to the police murder of George Floyd in May 2020: the beginning of the largest protest movement in U.S. history for racial justice.  

But it is not only the far-right Republican state government behind these attacks. The Democrat-led city of Atlanta has also participated in the war on Stop Cop City activists, including blatant interference in the campaign to get a referendum on the ballot to stop the project. 

At the national level, other cities have already announced plans to follow in Atlanta’s wake with a further militarization of police agencies. All factions of the capitalist state and its political representatives are united around intensifying police repression.

We call upon the people’s movements throughout the U.S. to unite in defense of the Stop Cop City activists and push back this latest effort to make people’s protest and resistance illegal while further enabling fascists inside and outside police departments to wage war on the workers and oppressed.

Cop City will never be built! Not in Atlanta, not anywhere!

Sept. 7, 2023

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