Since April 2021, protesters in Atlanta, Georgia have been fighting to defend Weelaunee Forest, where politicians and profiteers are attempting to build a police training compound known as Cop City. This movement has spread around the country, identifying and attacking the roots of state and corporate support for the project; later this month, opponents of Cop City will gather in Tucson, Arizona.
Yet the proposed police militarization center in Atlanta is only one of many. All across the United States, governments are allocating hundreds of millions of dollars to build new police militarization facilities, seeking to expand the repressive capabilities of the police and pouring more money into the pockets of their allies.
The movement to Stop Cop City has given rise to one of the fiercest struggles of the past three years. Does it represent a reproducible strategy by which abolitionists can take a structural approach to stopping the expansion of the police-industrial complex?
In 2022, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that the National Guard training center at Camp Grayling sought to take over an additional 162,000 acres of publicly-owned land, more than doubling the area under its control. Protesters mobilized against this expansion, many of them inspired by the example of the movement to Stop Cop City. In the end, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources was compelled to reject the original request, instead offering 52,000 acres to the military via short-term use permits.