Cop City: Police, Protest, and Social Control
In the wake of the George Floyd protests of summer 2020, the city of Atlanta announced a plan to turn 85 acres of city green space into what it calls a “state-of-the-art public safety training academy”—and what Atlantans call “Cop City.” Costing $90 million, $60 million of which is pledged by dozens of multinational corporations, Cop City features classrooms, firing ranges, and a “mock city” in which to practice the methods of tactical urban warfare. A harrowing symbol of police bloat, Cop City is also an environmental disaster, destroying acres of natural forest and contravening the Clean Water Act. A vociferous protest movement has arisen in response, with protestors taking up residence in the forest area, despite (literally lethal) police raids and the state’s invocations of its “domestic terrorism” act. How can we understand the meaning and significance of Cop City—which seems to touch on so much that’s salient in U.S. 21st-century life: from policing to urban development, corporate-public “partnership,” land use, ecology, and the (increasingly imperiled) right to protest and resist?
Join us Wednesday, May 3rd, for wide-ranging discussion of the meaning and context of Cop City and the protest movement it’s incited. With BISR faculty Nara Roberta Silva, Geo Maher, and Patrick Blanchfield and guests Natasha Lennard (The Intercept) and Kamau Franklin (Community Movement Builders), we will ask: Who and what is driving the creation of Cop City—and why is it a phenomenon of national significance? How can we understand the role and purpose of corporations in financing its construction? What are the ecological and land use issues at stake, and how can we situate Cop City and its ilk in our climate present and possible climate futures? What is the nature of the opposition to Cop City? How, here and elsewhere, have authorities wielded statutory law to effectively prohibit protest? Finally, for a society unwilling to address extreme racial and material stratification, is Cop City its inevitable future?
Cop City: Police, Protest, and Social Control is free to attend and will stream live to the BISR Facebook page. For a reminder and any updates, please RSVP below.
Event ScheduleWednesday, 7:00pm ET
May 03, 2023
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