Atlanta community groups protest RICO charges against Stop Cop City activists
Atlanta, GA – Community members gathered outside of the Georgia Supreme Court on the evening of September 8 to display their opposition to the extreme state repression that was brought upon activists in the movement to Stop Cop City.
The crowd of 70 people chanted “Drop the charges now!” and “Cop City will never be built!”. The protest was quickly put together by Community Movement Builders, the Weelaunee Coalition, and other supporting groups following the state RICO indictment earlier this week.
The indictment aims to shut down the Stop Cop City movement entirely, painting with broad strokes to criminalize legal actions and freedom of speech. Among the 61 people charged in the indictment are a legal observer, three people who run a bail fund, and activists who helped distribute flyers with information about Cop City and the police murder of Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán earlier this year. Further details on the indictment can be found in a recent Fight Back! News article.
Mariah Parker, an organizer with the Union of Southern Service Workers, stated, “The RICO charges will only set a precedent if we allow them to silence us and crush the movement. That's what they’re for, and if they succeed in that then it will be a tactic folks use to crush movements in other places. So that's why it’s more important than ever for us to continue to fight, stand up, and show that we aren’t afraid of baseless political prosecutions.”
Kamau Franklin, founder of Community Movement Builders, said in a speech, “It is the strength of the people which will make sure we can say corporations and developers will no longer control how Atlanta builds, how Atlanta divides its resources, and how Atlanta organizes itself. It is only all of us standing together which will stop the city and the state from using its resources against our folks.”
Protesters sang songs of solidarity and held banners that read, “Training to kill. Stop Cop City anywhere! Justice against police brutality!” and another which displayed the logos of the many companies funding Cop City; such as Coca-Cola, UPS, Chick-Fil-A, Uber, Home Depot, Delta, and many more. The protest dispersed safely following a chant, made popular by former political prisoner Assata Shakur, vowing to protect one another and to continue the fight for liberation from police terror.