Within a day of the massive community turnout at the June 5 Atlanta City Council meeting — where, despite 16 1/2 hours of public comment opposing the over $67 million of taxpayer money to build the militarized police training center in the Weelaunee Forest, the Council approved the expenditure — a new strategy to stop “Cop City” was announced on the steps of City Hall.
Representatives of multiple organizations, including Community Movement Builders, the NAACP Legal Fund, Movement for Black Lives, Working Families Party and Black Voters Matter, described the referendum process to allow the people of Atlanta to vote on the fate of Cop City. The first step was taking place as their press conference was occurring. A representative of the Union of Southern Service Workers delivered the wording of the petition, which was admitted by the close of the press briefing to the City Clerk.
The approved petition language will be returned to the referendum campaign within seven days. Then in the following 60 days, over 75,000 signatures of Atlanta voters, who were registered as of November 2021, have to be gathered. Once the necessary number has been vetted, the referendum language revoking the Cop City lease and all its provisions will be on the November ballot in Atlanta.
This electoral strategy is occurring in tandem with the protest demonstrations, rallies and other events during the upcoming Week of Action, June 24-July 1, focusing on the building contractors, donors and board members of the Atlanta Police Foundation. The list includes well-known businesses like Delta, Chick-fil-A, Home Depot, Coca Cola, Bank of America and AT&T. These wealthy corporations, who form the privately run foundation, are the political and financial muscle behind Cop City.
While the call for the Week of Action originates from Atlanta, participation can be worldwide, since many of the entities listed are national and international profiteers.