Stop Destroying the Environment to Build a New Police Training Facility

Target: Andre Dickens, Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia

Goal: Protect Atlanta’s forests and working-class people by stopping construction of the 90 million dollar police training facility.

Last year, the Atlanta City Council approved the construction of a new police and fire training center in spite of the 70% of resident callers who adamantly opposed the proposal. Since the announcement, activists have taken to protesting on behalf of their city, its people, and the environment–and against the training center. This establishment–which will cost the city 90 million dollars–is planned to be built in the South River Forest, the city’s last large remaining green space. Protestors–who have deemed this project “No Cop City”–have laid out a list of their worries.

One group of activists, who refer to themselves as the “forest defenders,” argue that construction of this site will destroy a precious, life-sustaining habitat–one of the last to exist in the city. Bulldozing 85 acres of natural land will contribute heavily to depletion of resources, habitat loss for animals and plants who currently inhabit its realms, and the already devastating effects of climate change.

Amid increasing police brutality in Atlanta, this new training facility will only exacerbate instances of police violence throughout the city. The Atlanta City Council is investing millions of dollars, resources, and physical space in police forces, while largely neglecting other city issues that could benefit from this same access, such as the housing crisis currently plaguing Atlanta. What we have here is a city prioritizing capitalist investment, while largely ignoring the wants of their city’s people and the needs of their entire community. In protecting the police, the city is simultaneously pushing out poor, working-class residents–specifically poor, Black working-class residents–who constitute the city’s majority. More cops will not ensure the safety of Atlanta’s residents. What Atlanta residents need is for the City Council to ensure they have access to basic needs–such as food security, housing, health care, and education.

Construction is underway, with recent announcements that, despite all of the protests and public opposition, there are no plans to halt the construction. In fact, police have been arresting peaceful protestors on account of trespassing on what is now deemed private land. Still, it is possible to reverse this decision and stop before it gets too far along. Sign this petition to express your opposition to the new police training facility and to stand with Atlanta residents.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mayor Dickens,

The Atlanta City Council’s recent announcement of plans to fund a 90 million dollar police and fire training facility are highly upsetting. Despite public opposition by the majority of the city’s residents, construction has begun to take shape and officials have begun bulldozing trees where the facility is set to be built. The 85 acre facility will dominate a great portion of natural, forested land, and one of the last large green spaces that remains in Atlanta. The destruction of this life-sustaining habitat will have devastating consequences for the animals and plants who live there, and will contribute to the evergrowing effects of global warming.

Poor, working-class individuals–specifically, poor, Black, working-class individuals–who make up the majority of Atlanta’s population will suffer most. These are also the people who are most affected by police brutality, and this new training facility will only exacerbate instances of targeted violence. Not to mention, in providing police with all of this funding and resources, the Atlanta City Council is prioritizing capitalist investment over real problems within their city’s own communities, such as the current housing crisis. These resources would be better used towards improving the lives of everyday working class people by providing universal food security, clean drinking water, public housing, healthcare access, and education throughout Atlanta.

We are asking you, Mr. Dickens, to please halt construction of this new training facility. The city of Atlanta–and the people, animals, and plants who live there–are counting on your support.

Sincerely,

{Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bart Everson


4 Comments

  1. WHY do we as Americans have the most over-blown police budgets, and some of the WORST “officers”?!?

  2. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    Construction of this site will destroy a precious, life-sustaining habitat–one of the last to exist in the city. Bulldozing 85 acres of natural land will contribute heavily to depletion of resources, habitat loss for animals and plants who currently inhabit its realms, and the already devastating effects of climate change.

  3. This is how humans kill our planet. We chip away at it acre by acre until it’s green spaces, it’s wildlife and it’s beauty, all of which feed men’s souls, are gone.

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