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Coalition to March on the RNC hosts screening of Stop Cop City documentary amid rise of political repression

By staff

Panelists in Milwaukee speak about the connections between Cop City, the war machine, police repression, and Palestine. | Fight Back! News/staff

Milwaukee, WI – 40 people gathered in Bolton Hall on the UW-Milwaukee campus to hear a panel of speakers talk about the connections between the Cop City project in Atlanta, Georgia and other current political situations, specifically the uprising in Palestine.

Cop City is a proposed training facility for police and others that is set to be built in 85 acres of woodland in one of Atlanta's largest green spaces. The portion of land is also part of a larger forest known as Weelaunee, important to the Muscogee people who historically call the region their home. The forest is commonly cited as the “lungs of Atlanta.”

One of the features of the facility is a mock city where police can work through made-up scenarios where they terrorize people. This is a tactic straight out of the playbook of the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in Palestine, something that has been learned as a result of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILLE) program. The program is one of the largest of its kind involving cross-training of U.S. militarized police and the IOF.

After the panel, a screening of Now You're a Terrorist, a documentary published by the media platform Al Jazeera, was aired. The documentary covers how law enforcement and the state have responded to people organizing to stop Cop City from being built. After the screening, the director of the documentary, Mark Scialla, joined the panelists for a question and answer session.

“As organizers who stand in solidarity with the Black liberation and Palestinian liberation struggles, the Coalition to March on the RNC stands in solidarity with the fight to Stop Cop City and to end the GILLE program,” said Casey Serrano, a member of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and former Atlanta activist. “We also recognize that as thousands of cops prepare to descend on Milwaukee next summer, we must study the cutting edge repression and resistance happening in Atlanta right now.”

Other panelists included Farzad Ghodsi with the Milwaukee Anti-war Committee and Omar Flores, also of the Milwaukee Alliance.

The Coalition to March on the RNC is planning a mass demonstration in Milwaukee for the first day of the Republican National Convention next year on July 15, 2024. As a prelude to this action, the coalition is also hosting an all-day National Organizing Conference in Milwaukee on February 17, 2024. All current and potential partners of the coalition are invited to mobilize members to this conference.

#MilwaukeeWI #RNC2024 #Palestine #StopCopCity