The Cop City of Atlanta will see the light of day. After two years of opposition from environmental and social and racial justice activists against the construction of a giant police training center in an urban forest in the city, “The Atlanta City Council voted on June 6, eleven votes to four, to award a grant in the amount of $ 31 million to launch the controversial site”, report it New York Times.
The Atlanta City Council meeting even turned into a real marathon “which lasted sixteen hours, during which more than 300 people questioned the elected officials before the vote”, continues the daily.
The questions and criticism from the public reflect the multi-faceted opposition to the plan from environmental activists, social and racial justice activists and supporters of defunding the police.
Among the arguments developed by the activists present at the municipal council meeting: the fact that this project will cost a lot of money which could be invested otherwise, that the construction of such a training center will contribute to an increasing militarization of law enforcement and finally that the site chosen, a section of urban forest adjoining one of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of the city, “will deprive the growing metropolis of Atlanta of a veritable green lung”, details the New York daily.
Risks of tensions
As columnist Bill Torpy points out in the columns of the local daily The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this city council vote “does not in any way sign the end of the opposition to the Cop City project”.
The columnist recalls the serious episodes of tension that crystallized around the project, and in particular the death of the young environmental activist Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, killed by the police in the Atlanta forest on January 18; as well as the raid organized by local law enforcement agencies last week to “arrest three activists accused of raising funds to finance acts of vandalism”.
During the municipal council, the activists present sang one of their favorite slogans: “If you build this project, we will burn it down”, while announcing “a week of militant actions in June”. A week that could “transform into a more sustainable camp”, concludes the columnist.