ATLANTA — Fair Fight Action today released a statement calling on the City of Atlanta to put an end to the suppressive, anti-voter tactics being deployed against proponents of the ‘Cop City’ referendum and heed the calls of thousands of constituents by moving forward with the ballot.
The anti-voter efforts to stifle opposition to the construction of a new police training facility in the South River Forest—referred to by some residents and opponents as ‘Cop City’ has reached a fever pitch. The proposed facility has prompted vocal protestation within the Atlanta community, and has drawn widespread criticism from environmental justice and criminal legal reform organizations both within the state of Georgia and nationwide. This week, opponents to ‘Cop City’ submitted over 116,000 signatures to the City of Atlanta in support of a referendum. The petition was met with pushback from the City of Atlanta, in addition to attempts by city leaders to disqualify the referendum in court.
Fair Fight Action Executive Director Cianti Stewart-Reid released the following statement:
“We are at an inflection point for democracy in Atlanta—a city with a long, powerful history of activism and a cradle of the civil rights movement. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, the fact remains that some Atlanta leaders are not listening to the voices of voters who elected them to represent their community and values.
Instead, they are following the same tired anti-voter playbook that has been wielded against voters of color for generations: moving the goal posts for change, defaulting to less transparency, hiding behind courts and falling back on the same shameful anti-voter tactics being deployed by extremists across the country to stifle political participation and dissent. These actions are designed to silence the voices of voters—and they cannot stand. The suppressive actions of those in power have gone so far as to provide cover for bad actors like Attorney General Chris Carr to attack bail funds and the right to protest, using disturbing anti-democratic tactics meant to chill free speech and other constitutionally-enshrined rights. Democracy is hard-won—especially in Georgia. Regardless of party, we must never stop fighting for it.
City of Atlanta: Put Cop City on the ballot. Let the people decide. Rather than model suppressive actions for future anti-voter bad actors, be better. Demonstrate to all those watching what democracy in action truly looks like.”