Atlanta DSA condemns charges against Atlanta Solidarity Fund organizers and calls for Democratic Referendum on Cop City

Yesterday, three organizers with the Atlanta Solidarity Fund were arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on charges of “money laundering” and “charity fraud” in an apparent effort to develop a RICO-like case against the Stop Cop City protest movement. These charges against civil rights organizers represent yet another scare tactic and unwarranted escalation by the same elite forces conspiring to build Cop City. We call for the immediate release of the arrested organizers with all charges dropped.

The Atlanta Solidarity Fund has for years provided bail and legal support for peaceful protestors — it is not a criminal organization. We stand in solidarity with the defendants against the corrupt politicians, police foundation, billionaires, and corporations pushing to undemocratically destroy public forests and build Cop City. It’s notable that the same Georgia prosecutors who routinely ignore blatant corruption at City Hall and the State Capitol are instead taking aim at working-class Atlantans fighting to preserve public land through peaceful protest. These arrests are acts of political repression by a right-wing, minoritarian regime which rules society to serve a handful of wealthy elites.

Since 2021, thousands of Atlanta residents have peacefully campaigned to oppose Cop City by legal and democratic means. All violent conflict over Cop City has been instigated by Mayor Andre Dickens, Brian Kemp’s State police, and the major corporations behind the Atlanta Police Foundation. Mayor Dickens and the Atlanta City Council have repeatedly and brazenly ignored the concerns of local residents and voters in authorizing the destruction of public Atlanta forest land and the violent eviction raid on peaceful protestors — all culminating in GBI’s violent murder of an environmental protester.

No amount of police repression can silence the voices of working-class Atlantans who are united in our resolve to stop Cop City. The crisis over this development has been ongoing for two years, and the popular resistance against Cop City will continue until Atlanta residents are able to decide on this issue in a free and fair election. We call on the Atlanta City Council to vote NO and reject the allocation of construction funds for Cop City. Instead, the council should order a democratic referendum to let the people of Atlanta decide whether the construction should proceed in the upcoming general election already scheduled for November 7, 2023.

Statement from the Atlanta DSA Steering Committee

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