Sixty-one activists appeared before Fulton County Court yesterday on racketeering charges related to their protest of Atlanta’s new “Public Safety Training Center,” commonly known as Cop City. The arraignment comes after the Georgia Attorney General’s Office
As a retired police officer, I recognize “Cop City” as the financial and real estate boondoggle that it clearly is. If the goal was to really have positive impact on the city, they could re-develop a less over the top training center in a former industrial part of the city and not destroy precious green space that the community needs. Obviously we all are grateful for well run, community minded police organizations, but this hyped up police Disneyland has nothing to do with that. Much the way publicly funded/privately owned, and gently taxed, sports stadiums are all about the developer and the owner. Certain people, under the auspices of public safety, areare going to make boatloads of money plowing under this urban forest - hence the disproportionate response by the District Attorney’s Office. I will contribute to their defense and hope the city and the police dept comes to it’s senses. I hope constitutional rights groups and environmental orgs join forces with anti-tax organizations (where are you Grover Norquist and Newt Gingrich?) to decry this farce. It’s in everyone’s interest.
If it weren’t for my (happily paid) subscription to Popular Information I certainly would be unaware of this story here in Minnesota. Shame on mainstream media for giving up on investigative reporting. My morning SubStack reads, and a few cups of coffee, are helping me keep a sense of sanity in a world that is losing its mind.
Thanks Tesnim and Rebecca for speaking up against another action that promotes a militarized (and fascistic) form of governing in our country. As usual the ACLU says it simply and clearly: “Georgia law enforcement officials are disproportionately wielding these overbroad laws to stigmatize and target those who disagree with the government.” Twenty years for essentially peaceful protest!...and for bringing awareness to law enforcement which is sadly lacking in the harm they are doing.
I'm surprised there has been no connection made between Cop City and Georgia's decades-long program of training its police in Israel, where such facilities include similar dummy urban areas for practice in quelling restive minorities...
Just a month ago local Atlanta news heralded 30 years of this "special relationship":
Look at the huge group photo in that article and notice all the non-White officers sent to train. (Just kidding. I don't see one.)
These trainings are routinely labelled 'community policing' but for tons more angles on this just google ISRAEL TRAINS POLICE FOR STATE OF GEORGIA.
Shades of a Tiananmen Square approach to dissent. The same sort of basic-freedom-to-dissent-squashing used in China, Russia, Hungary, Mianmar, and way too many other un-free prison-countries. We continue to hurtle rapidly backwards.
We all need to speak up, while we still can.
Vote BLUE Like Our Lives Depend On It!
I am so very grateful for the work of Popular Information and other excellent Substack Journalists.
As an animal right advocate and activist this trend toward the law enforcement and the Justice system punishing peaceful activism scares me. They just convicted DxE’s Wayne Hsuing in Sonoma Valley, Ca last week for give aid and rescue to chickens and ducks. It's going under appeal.
This is crazy and so wrong and needs to be righted immediately! So people can’t protest? And to deny lawyers and bail? People can’t call out a cop as murderous who was involved in shooting an environmental protester 57 times?! What the hell? More on that story please!
Sexton and cronies in Tennessee just quietly passed and broke ground on a similar situation for another cop city there too... this needs to be national news ... trying to throw Rico charges on protesters ...unbelievable
There comes a time when government NEEDS TO LISTEN to the masses. FFsake--move the damned site away from populated areas.
Wow! It’s impossible to find the words to express one’s outrage. Thanks for shining a might on this.
I see Trump’s Project 2025 is starting early. As I said the other day, why don’t they just secede already?
Our former prez - agent orange - would take this to a whole new level as would maga mike.
What the US would be like under a Trump presidency.
Let me guess, this particular District Attorney is Republican and is using RICO as a way to give it to the Libs in retaliation of Trump being indicted under the RICO statutes? Could their tactics be any more transparent?
"Cop City" sounds to me like a Good Ole Boy camp". And if I am not mistaken, being financed completely or partially by funds from far right leaning sources.
The 109 page RICO document certainly reveals the mindset of those inspired to create and support these charges. They intend to use the courts and proposed facility to augment the police state they seek to construct to replace our weakened democracy as a way to enact complete control of citizens.
Thanks for covering this important story, Judd. Chillingly fills in details I did not know.
More than a step too far to bring this case against people previously charged with serious crimes for the same acts to widen the circle. But it is Georgia.
I am reminded of the time we stopped to eat on the outskirts of Atlanta. It was sort of between mealtimes so not a lot of people were there. It took a while to be served. The manager, a Black man, sat with us and chatted about various things to see and what we’d seen. Our food arrived. As he stood up and began to walk away, he turned back and said. “Be careful. And very careful when you go through Cobb County. We call it COBB - Come On Back Boy county.”
We got the very politely delivered message: Don’t think being white protects you in Georgia.