Recent developments around the campaign to stop “Cop City,” the $90 million militarized police training facility planned for the city of Atlanta that would destroy 85 acres of forest in neighboring DeKalb County, has strengthened the determination of opponents who are planning a major protest action in Atlanta in mid-November.
On Oct. 6, a special prosecutor announced that none of the six police officers who shot and killed a forest defender known as Tortuguita would face charges. The official police report said Tortuguita shot first, but the autopsy showed the activist had no gunpowder residue on his hands.
Meanwhile, the petition signed by 116,000 Atlanta residents to put the Cop City project on the November ballot stalled after city officials refused to count the petitions, then said they will use signature-matching to verify them — a tactic used to disqualify signers. It now appears that the referendum question may be placed on the primary ballot next March. So, opponents are turning to another tactic — a mass, nonviolent direct-action occupation of the forest. Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Jamie Peck, one of several organizers who have been criss-crossing the country over the past month, recruiting volunteers to participate in the action that will take place in Atlanta from Nov. 10 to the 13.
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