January 20, 2022
On Tuesday, January 18th, tree-cutting was reported on social media in the Atlanta Forest, an area of highly contested green-space where both a movie studio and the local police are attempting to clear-cut trees to build expanded studio lots and a state of the art police training facility, which will include a “mock city for first responders to train in.”
Over the past year, resistance to the project has taken many forms, from militant marches, community forums and BBQs, protests against those funding and helping to carry out the project, to a campaign to pressure local politicians to block the devastation of the forest. The campaign has brought together a wide variety of movements, groups, and communities, each fighting to save the forest and stop an encroaching arm of the expanding police state, known in Atlanta, as “Cop City.”
According to a report from The Mainline:
Local residents gathered in the forest in response to the apparent bulldozing. [R]oughly 10 people were present in the forest to prevent the bulldozing. Police responded by sending helicopters and drones to surveil the area. Although no arrests were made, one person was detained and held in a police car after an officer pointed a weapon at them in the forest. The person detained was forced to sign a criminal trespass warning document before being released.
Last year, Atlanta City Council authorized a $230 million police budget, accounting for one-third of the entire city budget and a $15 million increase from the previous year. Construction crew company Reeves Young is currently contracted…to build a new police militarization base/training facility. Local organizers have put together a call to action against Reeves Young to terminate their construction in the forest.
The ordinance to authorize a ground lease between APF and the City of Atlanta for the facility was introduced to Atlanta City Council in June 2020. It was ultimately passed on Sept. 8 in a 10-4 despite widespread opposition throughout the city.