By Tre Cobb

On Tuesday, February 21st, the West Virginia/Virginia based POWHR Coalition hosted a virtual teach-in, educating those in attendance on one of the most prevalent fears facing marginalized groups today: The construction of “Cop City”.

Set to be built in Atlanta, Georgia, Cop City is a future training site for militarizing local authorities. Those in opposition to Cop City vary in motivation. Some believe that police brutality is out of control, calling for the reformation of law enforcement, while millions of dollars are spent strengthening the current model.

For perspective, to erect such a massive institution would require eighty five acres worth of deforestation, not to mention the ninety million dollar price tag. Protestors have even set up camp in the planned-to-be demolished forest, in effort to stop construction.

According to the Atlanta Police Foundation, Cop City would implement “the necessary facilities required to effectively train 21st-century law enforcement agencies responsible for public safety in a major urban city.” Perhaps the most notorious implementation is the “mock city”, which would educate law enforcement on urban warfare tactics, also simulating dangerous elemental conditions such as fire — which has raised concerns over air quality.

As the battle rages on in Atlanta, POWHR Coalition speakers urged everyone at the teach in to stay vigilant, recognize the patterns of abuse from those in power, and take persistent, appropriate action in numbers (letters and e-mails to local lawmakers, participating in marches/protests).

POWHR stands for “Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights.”

“Cop City” map provided by The Nature Conservancy

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