ACTION ALERT: Save the Weelaunee Forest; Stop Cop City!

February 27th, 2023 - by The Nation and ActionNetwork

ACTION ALERT: Say No to Georgia’s Massive Police Training Complex

The Nation and ActionNetwork

(February 25, 2023) — The Atlanta Police Foundation has plans — backed by $60 million in corporate funding and $30 million in taxpayer money — to build an enormous police training facility over the city’s Weelaunee Forest.

Activists and forest defenders are calling the plan “Cop City,” as it will include a mock village (complete with a nightclub), a Black Hawk helipad, an emergency vehicle driving course, dozens of firing ranges, and an area for explosives training.

The neighborhoods that surround the forest are largely made up of lower-income Black residents. Cop City will decimate green space, which is already so rare in BIPOC communities, and replace it with a playground for the police to practice warfare tactics.

Communities of color live with police-induced trauma every day. Now this Atlanta community will feel and hear the presence of a training facility where cops learn new ways to enact violence against Black and Brown communities, right in their own backyard.

In addition to the terror of an ever-present police force, Cop City is an environmental racism nightmare. The Weelaunee Forest provides ecological relief for the people of Atlanta. It offsets stormwater runoff, which might otherwise push unwanted sediment into the drinking water.

The mere presence of trees helps to keep the city cool during the long, hot, humid summers, and improves air quality by reducing carbon dioxide released into the air.

Cop City has been gaining nationwide attention, and for good reason. The city of Atlanta, its police force, and its corporate sponsors are actively cooperating to increase police power, at a time when police departments are under scrutiny for abusing that power.

Cop City will do irreparable harm to the city of Atlanta, and inspire more play villages for cops across the country. But there’s hope. Cop City does not have the full funding necessary to scale the project from private entities, meaning there is still time to put pressure on these investors to halt all funding to the Atlanta Police Foundation and APF Support Inc.

Sign the Petition to Private Investors:
No massive police training complex.
Stop Cop City!