An activist speaking into a megaphone can be seen amidst a partial shot of a marching crowd - a banner being held in the front of the march reads "Don't Cut Down the Forest! The trees are family."

‘Stop Cop City’ Week of Action Day 8: Youth Rally; Atlanta Police Vehicles Torched

Atlanta, GA — The sixth ‘Stop Cop City’ “Week of Action” concluded on Saturday, July 1. The day’s main event was a planned ‘Youth Rally’ in Brownwood Park in the East Atlanta Village (EAV) neighborhood, which had served as the main hub for gatherings and events throughout the week.

Families with children and protesters of all ages gathered in the park starting around 11 a.m., with a bouncy castle, face painting, a mat with Legos, and food and coffee stations set up to service the crowd.

At around 11:30 a.m., a short rally was held with speakers including Belkis Terán (mother of slain forest defender Manuel ‘Tortuguita’ Paez Terán), ‘Cop City Vote’ referendum petition drive organizer Dr. Mariah Parker and Lorraine Fontana, a longtime Atlanta lesbian feminist activist who was controversially arrested two days earlier in a Home Depot parking lot during a protest demanding the corporation cut ties with the Atlanta Police Foundation.

After half an hour of speeches, a crowd of about 100 marched around the surrounding streets of EAV to oppose ‘Cop City’ and raise awareness of the movement’s ongoing presence despite advancing construction and clearcutting in the nearby South River Forest (also known by its Indigenous Muscogee name, Weelaunee.) The march lasted around 40 minutes and returned to Brownwood Park where some remained to socialize.

Alleged Arson/Sabotage at Current Atlanta Police Academy

Later on Saturday, local media reported that at around 2:30 a.m. “several motorcycles” at the Atlanta Police Training Academy had been destroyed by fire with “incendiary devices” also found on the scene.

While the exact number of police vehicles destroyed is unknown, photos posted by Atlanta News First seem to show at least three police motorcycles sustained extreme damage and were likely effectively destroyed. At least one police sedan or SUV had an “incendiary device” placed next to one of its front wheels.

While no statement claiming responsibility was issued, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp was quick to issue a statement that seemed to imply that the entire movement against ‘Cop City’ was responsible:

At least a dozen previous acts of arson and sabotage have been anonymously claimed by forest defenders as part of the resistance to the controversial urban warfare training center, usually in communiques republished by the website ‘Scenes From The Atlanta Forest.’

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