Michael Gould-Wartofsky: Police Are Spreading Authoritarianism Under the Guise of Counterterrorism

Joe Biden’s Department of Justice has doubled down on an inquisitorial strategy of counterinsurgency in the name of counterterrorism. 

The Nation | July 12, 2023

As night fell over the South River Forest, the music festival was in full swing. Young and old swayed to the sounds of Suede Cassidy. Families gathered around the grill. Little ones frolicked in an inflatable bouncy house bedecked with a banner that read: “Stop Cop City.”

While the band played on, a strike force of Georgia state troopers assembled in the shadows. They were there to clear the way for the creation of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, better known as “Cop City,” a $90 million training ground for the future of urban warfare. It would destroy more than half of that urban forest. For years, the project had faced mounting local opposition and this festival was, in essence, a coming-out party for the movement to defend a priceless bit of urban green space from the bulldozer’s blade.

Now, accompanied by the dull hum of drones and the buzz of helicopters overhead, officers of the “peace” descended from all directions, their fingers on the triggers of their semi-automatics. The orders came down with the force of live rounds: “Get on the ground! Now!”

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