‘Stop Cop City’ Week of Action Begins: Day 1

Atlanta, GA – The sixth ‘Week of Action’ against the Atlanta Police Foundation’s proposed urban warfare training center, currently under construction in the Weelaunee Forest but facing mounting legal challenges and public opposition, is beginning on Saturday with a kick-off rally in Brownwood Park in Southeast Atlanta. An evening vigil is also scheduled to honor the memory of forest defender Manuel ‘Tortuguita’ Terán, who was shot and killed by Georgia State Patrol troopers in a SWAT raid to evict ‘Stop Cop City’ tree-sitters in January.

See Unicorn Riot’s livestreams and other on-the-ground coverage. At 9pm we streamed the end of the police action on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook:

Several dozen Atlanta Police, including many from the A.P.E.X. unit (a rebrand of the infamously scandal-ridden ‘Red Dog’ team) arrived at the part at the scheduled start time of the vigil in what many activists said they felt was a deliberate act of intimidation and disruption. The park closure hour of 11 p.m. which police said they were there to announce was already clearly posted on signs around the park.

After police pulled back to the perimeter around the park grounds, the vigil got underway as planned, although slightly behind schedule.

Belkis Terán addresses the crowd at the nighttime vigil at Brownwood Park while seated on a dimly lit wooden structure with metal hoops with plants and flowers hanging above where she is sitting.
Belkis Terán, mother of slain forest defender Tortuguita, addressed a crowd with words of encouragement, a prayer and a song after Atlanta Police disrupted the vigil scheduled for this evening at Brownwood Park

After the stage structure used during the vigil was broken down and seemingly all tents were removed from the park with everyone clearing the area before 11, Atlanta Police remained in the area but did not conduct a raid or sweep of the park at the announced closure time. APD officers manning cruisers did, however, choose to use their spotlights to obstruct the cameras of journalists documenting their activity, who were the only non-law enforcement presence by the time of park’s scheduled closure. A group of officers reportedly swept through the park looking for tents later at around midnight.


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