Domestic Terrorism Charges Against Cop City Demonstrators Spur Further Protests

In the early evening of March 5, a noxious plume of black smoke wafted over the proposed site of the unpopular Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, known as “Cop City.”

Construction equipment and vehicles were reportedly set on fire, igniting an incendiary response by police on the second day of the Week of Action called by the Defenders of the Atlanta Forest. It was the fifth such week-long event since they learned of the plan to build Cop City in 2021, and the first since forest defender Manuel Esteban Paez Terán was killed on January 18 by a Georgia State Trooper.

Also known as Tortuguita, Terán was the first environmental activist to be killed by police in the United States. Frontline organizers put out an urgent call for a diversity of tactics in a mass mobilization to honor the 26-year-old who was hit with 12 or 13 bullets according to the autopsy, timed to affect the approval of the project’s final permits.

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