I began writing this meditation on Atlanta's famed 4/04 Day—the city's unofficial birthday—just days following another police raid on the Weelaunee Forest, an act of state aggression, which, according to an intercepted police scanner audio clip, was done to secure the space ahead of another wave of clear-cutting. In the weeks since, the writers in this series and their comrades have held down a multi-front effort to salvage the movement and sustain its momentum. They've collectively navigated the mental and emotional strain that comes with organizing in the face of mass arrests and domestic terrorism charges, swift moves by the mayor and city hall to stay the course of the Cop City compromise and ensure the project's successful construction—and of course the persistent grief and rage that has persisted following Comrade Tortuguita's murder at the last police invasion of the forest. 

I have found it difficult to get into the "spirit" of 4/04 for a number of years now, long before the particularly violent nature of state aggression at present. As an organizer in the BLM-era iteration of the Atlanta Student Movement—who spent years struggling against The City, its ne(gr)oliberal institutions, policing apparatus, and multinational corporate capital interests—I was introduced to the many sinister ways The Culture™ we proclaim to love "forever" can be leveraged by the state and wielded against our movements to restore order in the face of unrest. 4/04 Day, like anything that celebrates Atlanta, spares no expense nor bars any extravagance in the name of celebrating our "native" culture.

On this day, "natives"—be they the Grady Babies that rapper Omeretta the Great insists mark the boundary between what is and ain't Atlanta, or those displaced and transplanted across its sprawling (blackening, expanding) metropolitan area—gather to celebrate the city. This celebration exists as a nod to the cultural foundations of the sacred city of the past, the Old Atlanta where the 404 area code was a clear indication of one's native status. It has never been lost on me that the date the city has designated as one for celebrating its native culture is also the one antiblack terror reserved for mourning, as 4/04 is the anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. Attention to this connection between the cultural holiday and the collective mourning of Atlanta's most globally prominent native son is pertinent in contextualizing the stakes of Cop City, as it is this balance between Atlanta's (violent) means of "managing growth," and the creation and circulation of "new cultures," that are always at play in its development saga.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Mural on Auburn Ave NE in Atlanta, Georgia. Artwork by Louis Delsarte, 2010.

Forever, I Love(d) Atlanta
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Mural on Auburn Ave NE in Atlanta, Georgia. Artwork by Louis Delsarte, 2010.

The City takes 4/04 Day as the perfect opportunity for a double celebration, as it is the commonly held belief that the city we collectively strive to "make our home" stands as evidence that Atlanta, as the model "Beloved Community" in the post-Civil Rights Movement era, has developed in direct alignment with King's dream. This dream has, however, also been leveraged as among the city's first lines of defense when time has come to call dissent to order, as Atlanta "natives" are far too often reminded that Dr. King died in the name of struggling for the City of a Hundred Hills. This moniker refers to that given by W.E.B Du Bois in his essay "On the Wings of Atalanta," as he, then a professor at Atlanta University, began his critique of the city's "progress" with the story of its birth. Alluding to its resurgence from the ashes of the Civil War, Du Bois poetically notes: 

"It is a hard thing to live haunted by the ghost of an untrue dream; to see the wide vision of empire fade into real ashes and dirt; to feel the pang of the conquered, and yet know that with all the Bad that fell on one Black day, something was vanquished that deserved to live, something killed that in justice had not dared to die; to know that with the Right that triumphed, triumphed something of Wrong, something sordid and mean, something less than the broadest and best. All this is bitter hard; and many a man and city and people have found in it excuse for sulking, and brooding, and listless waiting."

It is this fear of an untrue dream which still haunts The City, as it has, from its genesis, been in pursuit of a cosmopolitan image that employs portrayals of racial harmony as its central marketing strategy in order to secure the capital and influence necessary to declare its definitive "resurgence" out of the ashes of disorder. Despite its early commitment to a culture of progress, the Reconstruction era's reforms proved insufficient in halting the violence of mob terror sparked by the first wave of mobile freedmen off their plantations and into the expanding new markets of American industrial centers. This period, which marks the urban-industrial turn brought with it Atlanta's most lucrative invention: The New South Order. In Du Bois's above excerpt, he describes The City's resurgence as one made possible by "birth" of a new, post-plantation modern order where the "Right" of emancipation and free labor triumphed only alongside the "Wrong" of capitalist exploitation and degradation, and the rise of white mob terror in the absence of federal protection to usher in this order. Such use of force is coterminous with a Fanonian understanding of the nature of colonial violence, as the rapid war-federal occupation-mob rule held little space for transition, allowing for the expedient substitution of the New South City in place of the old plantocracy, consistent with a "detached complicity between capitalism and the violent forces which blaze up in [The New South city as] colonial territory." 

The origin of the "idea" of the New South is historically situated in the aftermath of the Reconstruction compromise where Henry W. Grady and other city boosters sold the idea of a modern, industrial South, hospitable to northern and international investment with its selling point being Atlanta's reputation for being unlike other Southern cities in that it had patented effective technologies for adequately handling the Negro Problem. In the twilight of the 19th century, Grady, known for his oratory, was clear in his speech and appealed to Northern capitalists and philanthropists as he, like Du Bois, assessed the Southern condition as one marked by despair over its confederate "Lost Cause," as it teemed with optimism over its budding corporate-industrial system. 

His 1888 address at the Boston Merchants' Association outlined why the "fix" for the race issue was essential to the efficacy of his proposed compromise between "the sections" of the Republic in which their unity for the sake of capital required an absence of disorder. Grady drew solutions on supporting statistics that illustrated early evidence of a Black "upward" mobility in the period immediately following the war, prior to the suspension of the Reconstruction order (1877), and institution of formal/legal Black disenfranchisement in Georgia (1908). This "evidence" was intended to convey the value of racial cooperation, as his rhetorical strategy contrasted the antebellum affection plantation slaves showed to their masters, which cemented a bond between the races strong enough that according to his myth, the valiant Confederate soldier entrusted his devoted servant with the protection of the plantation manner and master's family. This same loyalty persisted, and Grady insisted on the fortitude of the bond held after the war, so much so that the freedman could be permitted a place in society that accommodated his duty and devotion. This New South Culture represented an ideal emerging region novel in that "There was a South of slavery and secession–that South is dead. There is a South of union and freedom–that South, thank God, is living, breathing, growing every hour." But Grady's boosterism did not rhetorically stray in its use of the language of the coffle, arguing that the South's prosperity derived from its Black laboring population, who would follow his tradition of loyalty into the modern age and work in devotion to the common cause of national unity, regional development, and the expansion of american hegemony. 

The dawn of the Beltline city brought with it an implicit understanding that the green city to come could not, at the same time, be a Black City.

I offer this historical context because it is this transaction—where Grady sold the idea of Southern fidelity to the republic through an emphasis on the South's capacity to handle the "negro problem" by accounting for the aid the white race gave the emancipated in the immediate wake of the Appomatox signature—which had completed its task in helping lift the freedmen "up" from slavery. This commitment had run its course, though, as he asserted that "to liberty and enfranchisement is as far as law can carry the negro. The rest must be left to conscience and common sense. It must be left to those among whom his lot is cast, with whom he is indissolubly connected, and whose prosperity depends upon their possessing his intelligent sympathy and confidence." The resurgence of Atlanta thus hinged upon the birth of a New South Order supported by a culture of governance, development/expansion, and social life intended to enforce the dynamic of Mastery and Servitude. Such a dynamic permitted the circulation of authorized representations of "Black Power"—upward mobility—which in turn secured investment from corporate interests otherwise skeptical about investing in those places in the racially segregated South. (I discuss this further in a piece for Scalawag's Captive Maternal Roundtable forum.)

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The Gate City's position as the capital of the New South holds because "the New South" is synonymous with technologies patented for controlling "the Negro Problem." These technologies originated in/as the lawless force wielded by triggered white mobs against the threat of Black sexual terror during the infamous 1906 race massacre. This force of racial terror culminated in the first of a series of cyclical biracial compromises wherein non-legal, yet still binding agreements brokered between Atlanta's white capitalists and Black elites worked to stave off future acts of insurgency. It is this culture of antiblack compromise and its reliance on the images of Black Power in the Black Mecca that have long served as the "come one, come all" call of the boosters on the one hand, and the dream of "freedom somewhere" fulfilled for Blackness on the other, that raises the stakes of "mutual agreement" regarding a zero tolerance for "disorder" whenever the structure falls under threat. 

This is the technology of containment that keeps Blackness bound to affective ties to spaces—institutions, ideals, communities real and imagined, present and to come—in such a way that, in its compulsive duty to remain in fidelity to the Master's (lost) cause, auto-produces technologies of repression that betray movements which seek to undo, as opposed to expand and reform, the present order. Analysis of the violence of development in the Black Mecca with this corrective for prior oversight of the Negro Problem reveals the way the use of force once wielded by the white mob against the growing threat of "Black Power" is now channeled through the vestibules like urban planning's alienating mechanisms, such as the law and the zoning code, the police force and its reformed practices. These function as modern deterrents deployed to ensure escalations of racial terror no longer threaten capital investment and cultural circulation in/of The New South. It is within the context of this "idea" of Atlanta's Culture that we must situate both the campaign for the Cop City project and our defense of the Weelaunee Forest as opposing forces, as acts of state stabilizing terror and anti-state insurgency.

A Stop Cop City protest. A sign reads, "Join the Fight. No Cop City. No Hollywood Dystopia."

Forever, I Love(d) Atlanta
Photo by Chad Davis.

It's due to The City's intentional airbrushing of the significance of King's murder that I want to spotlight how this dynamic plays out outside of Atlanta. I must also highlight its influence on the cultures of state violence that unfolded en masse in those cities where the race rebellion brought with it the realization of the municipality's worst nightmare: the flight of white capital—that is, white value—out of its jurisdiction in favor of settling in an exclusive, suburban enclave that might better ensure their safety. To the rest of the world, the King assassination is the catalyst for the mass wave of urban (race) riots that sparked in the wake of the incident. It is through this association between the King assassination and the riots it catalyzed—which triggered further anxiety about the post-war migration of Black diasporic "natives" into former colonial metropoles, american industrial centers, and back South again—that brought on the nightmare of the burning American city. The global response to the violence of the negro rebellion bestowed upon the legacy of the long-deceased Civil Rights leader his true value to Atlanta as a cultural icon: as his "native" city, it could market the nonviolent fulfillment of his "dream" as the order maintaining collective pursuit in lieu of the rebellion, to prevent that nightmarish anarchic force necessary to obliterate the predatory state. 

The Culture, the Native, and the City Too Busy

What does it mean to be an "Atlanta Native?" What does FILA, or "Forever, I Love Atlanta," stand for given the stakes of the war at present and the war that has endured on the Atlanta front since the city's true inception at the 1906 negotiating table? The Atlanta Ideal is that of a city with urban racial harmony as its dominant "native" culture, and it is this culture that remains vital to its primary mode of production: development.   

Development is the central productive activity in Atlanta. We are a city that has organized its regime politics in such a way that we have a comparative advantage in Development itself. There is no city without its Black Culture. In Atlanta particularly, this relies on the circulation of the Idea of the Black Mecca as a cosmopolitan ideal worthy of its urban regime's pursuit: Black mayors and city leaders, america's Black music and entertainment capital, the streets named after Civil Rights Movement icons. It also means sustaining a globally affluent corporate center whose white stakeholders have long done business with those Black elites with a shared capitalist value around order for the sake of profit. 

This system persists today at the heart of Cop City, the Beltline and its parks, the stadiums, highways, airport, and the endless sea of luxury housing and retail spaces. These structures cater to the needs of The Culture and its libidinal market in order to secure the investment capital necessary for the Master Planning efforts the city uses to invent and account for its growth trajectories, value(s), and threats.

As such, The Culture is circulated globally to generate value for state expansion as it is at the same time repressed in the City. Since his election in 2021, Mayor Andre Dickens—who defeated his seasoned political opponents by leveraging The Culture to deliver the vote while simultaneously ensuring the restoration of order through a full commitment to increased investment in policing—stood proudly at the opening of the police housing project in the Bluff, passed a full agenda of nightlife management policies, presided over the city's coordination with Fulton County regarding the YSL RICO case and its associated crackdown on "gang violence," and of course, has repeatedly authorized use of state force against our Stop Cop City comrades.  

The specific form of repression espoused by the Dickens administration in the name of order and expansion is a mode of governance that is as much an Atlanta cliché as memorizing bae's Waffle House order. This is because the force of antiblack violence associated with the ever-looming specter of mob terror on both the side of the state and that of Blackness propels the dialectics of cultural compromise. Polic(e)y and advocacy, planning and community need, culture and order all rely on the ruse of "progress" to obscure the violence of the arrangement and market themselves as "non-violent" alternatives. These dueling forces mark the conflicting relationship between city-aligned Development and the grassroots efforts of our resistance movements.

The New South faces an identity crisis. As such, Atlanta seeks a unified image in the development projects, the renewed districts, the communities built with purpose—and the transplants it was built to accommodate—as its new cosmopolitan identity. This identity differs from those of the past: it needs only the representation of Black actors without the actualization of "Black Power" in the form of places.

The dawn of the Beltline city brought with it an implicit understanding that the green city to come could not, at the same time, be a Black city. Green gentrification and the creation of new value(s) hinges on the idea of a livable future for the city's natives, which in turn also keeps it as a hospitable destination for its anticipated transplants. 

The Beltline itself has been framed, even by its critics, as a citywide social movement, one that galvanized Atlantans from all corners towards envisioning what its inventor Ryan Gravel deems a city where we want to live. Georgia State University professor Dan Immergluck offers critical insight into the Beltline development saga, quoting former Mayor Shirley Franklin on her support of this vision for a more desirable (non-Black) city, as she believed the Beltline and its green spaces would help the city define itself to the world. This newly defined identity would be that of a city that ensured the safety of its anticipated growing population, as former Atlanta City Councilmember Cathy Woolard believed that the Beltline was a mechanism to clear away vagrancy and kudzu from the abandoned rail corridor and as a means of improving the quality of life for future Atlantans. But any "quality of life improvements" garnered by the project yielded benefits for the overwhelmingly white and non-Black transplants at the expense of the entire communities of displaced Black "native" residents; residents who have been relegated to an odyssey around the metropolitan region in search of housing security and job opportunities. 

Following the mass displacement of the Beltline-era in the early 2000s, the 2010s marked a decade of transformation in the development regime where non-profit and social justice organizations began to play a key role in driving the development agenda. The waves of protests from the OccupyATL Movement, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, and other BLM-era demonstrations produced a new movement within the development culture that placed an emphasis on social equity in urban planning and polic(e)y centered projects in the city. 

The demand of this series is not one for "more culture" or "Blacker culture"—or perhaps their combination: to restore the culture we once loved, were once proud of, that we "defend" in the name of a redeemed "native" subject—but for the end of The Culture. 

In the wake of the 2016 uprisings, in particular, I and many other organizers issued demands for a more equitable city. Members of the "social justice community" participated in the Resilient Atlanta, Atlanta City Design, and Atlanta Urban Ecology framework projects that all sought to balance the pressures of rapid growth and development with social equity priorities that would put protections in place for the consideration of vulnerable people, communities, institutions, and the natural environment in all planning efforts thereafter. These overlapping planning processes worked as a response to the rebellion, as they placated organizers with the promise of increased engagement as well as involvement and representation in the development process. However, that representation, unless by authorized means of "civic" engagement, also worked in the service of reducing or erasing the tireless, years-long struggles for equitable green development projects—in places like NPU-V and the Proctor Creek Watershed communities—that fought, not exacerbated, Black displacement. 

The future of the city hinges on the disappearance of the Black residents as new investment arrives. And these investments must be protected by any means. Be it in terms of funding support, stakeholder engagement, or prioritizing corporate needs, the same powerful interests coalescing around the Cop City construction are also deeply invested in the Social Equity Industrial Complex that corporate-nonprofit-philanthropic-entrepreneurial Atlanta has perfected in the age of late(r) neoliberalism. Our call to "defend the forest!" must account for these efforts, which framed entire planning efforts around the simultaneous protection of the canopy and investment in green infrastructures, while at the same time facilitating new strategies to increase resources for policing and security in the green metropolis.  

The production of this "equity culture," which extinguished rebellion by tasking organizers with the work of "civic engagement," is similar to the city-sponsored community events and the descent of community cultural organizing efforts into the Watts community following the rebellion. What we know as the "Black is Beautiful" extension of the Black Power Movement—that is, the foundation of the Revolutionary Black Arts Movement—emerged from the ashes of the Watts uprising. The captives wanted out, but were, instead, given a "native" culture to appreciate; a culture opposite of the wretchedness of their rebellion; one rendered desirable enough to love.

To concede to this "love" of the city means to take seriously one's own demand to "defend," as a Blackening of this term is only as creative as it is destructive. The demand to Stop Cop City cannot be one predicated on the preservation of (an idea of an) Atlanta. We cannot love this city "forever" and allow the desire for an impossible native restoration to foreclose the task we've opted to undertake. The demand of this series is not one for "more culture" or "Blacker culture"—or perhaps their combination: to restore the culture we once loved, were once proud of, that we "defend" in the name of a redeemed "native" subject—but for the end of The Culture. 

Flames engulf a Wendy's restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police in Atlanta in 2020. AP Photo/Brynn Anderson. Black and Palestinian solidarity. 

Forever, I Love(d) Atlanta
Flames engulf a Wendy's restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police in Atlanta in 2020. AP Photo/Brynn Anderson.

Given the stakes of the war at hand, it goes without saying that participating in "native culture," such as celebrating 4/04 Day mere days after a raid and amid threats of further clear-cutting, is evidence of compulsive auto-reproduction of our own mechanisms of repression. We should demand more than stagnant counter-cultures of resistance that respond to the violence associated with urban expansion, mobility, and containment on a loop. 

In an "urban age" marked by a global neoliberal paradigm that frames "urban public safety" as a matter of urgent concern in climate planning strategies that prioritize mitigation, preparedness, and recovery, the emphasis on "urban crime" and "urban rebellion" emerging from the slum zone as pressing threats to a more resilient urban future should not be overlooked. The "Cultures" that emerge from such zones of non or not-yet being do not cohere as such prior to their being disciplined into "cultural forms." 

Not unlike those planning strategies listed above, the "sound" of the trap is also disciplined by circumstance into the structure of rhythm, beat and measure. The existence of a "trap," "dirty South," "Black" Culture is already a recognition that an ongoing process must occur to render it desirable for circulation. It is a part of the same effort to market Atlanta's tradition of racial justice struggle as a valuable part of the city's "native culture" while also communicating that development is generative of the conditions for revolutionary violence. 

(Counter)Insurgency, Warfare, and Rebellion 

Cop City cannot be understood as anything less than an act of state aggression that reminds us that these struggles against displacement are mere battles in the unceasing war of repression that the state has waged against this generation of rebels in response to the insurgency of the 2010s. What the 1906 moment stands to teach us is the sinister nature of Black Culture as the Master's tool of choice for maintaining and (re)producing the terms of order. Be it the state deploying Black entertainment figures like Usher, T.I., Killer Mike, and Tyler Perry to raise support for the police and the mayor in the aftermath of mass protests 2014-2019, conscripting the Lil' Baby to film his copaganda music video against the backdrop of active rebellion in 2020, raising the profile of political celebrities like Stacey Abrams and Raphael Warnock as a tactic to posit the ballot in lieu hand grenades, Atlanta's capacity to produce cultures of containment always finds new markets to corner. 

While these benefits are often equated with "Atlanta" as the place where any Black strawberita dreams turn to dripping champagne realities, where one can come from the plantation to the negro slum and hitch one's bourgeoisie ascendency—one's upward mobility—to the wagon of the Black Mecca's ideal representative image, the city's record antiblack displacement and police terror suggest otherwise about the quality of the dream it sells.  

The Atlanta Native is tasked with digging through memory and archive for new ways to re-enchant a petrified culture in the face of gentrification and unceasing waves of displacement, forcing the natives to discover and rediscover new forms of that same ol' culture as evidence that "the Souf still got somethin' to say." This anxious attachment to the native culture results from the simultaneous acculturation and deculturation of the racially oppressed subject who mistakes "racism" as a cause—rather than a consequence—of the violent order that subjugates it.

In the absence of "new" native cultural figures like the trap nigga or the anti-negroliberal political subject to aspire to, the kids return to the traditional culture, and through it, soothe the nostalgic longing for "our day." Our day has always however called for violence, and our inability to escalate or "choose" violence is evidence of our captivity to culture—The Culture—as cause, as Master. 

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It is my hope that this Week of Writing project will not merely serve as an organizing strategy or combat tactic that lives on as a relic that evidences that a political culture existed alongside the Stop Cop City movement and moment; but that it will spark necessary openings in the narrative that present the case for nothing less than full abolition of the city that will always need a cop city apparatus. This framing is not at all intended to ignore the multicultural nature of Atlanta's 21st-century movements, but to illustrate the ways in which a city (in)famous for its capacity to capture and contain its captives spares not the opportunity to subject non-Black deviants with a similar use of force. The City was built to contain and eliminate as it expands and circulates its value(s); it cares not what it captured when the threat of (Black) terror darkens the doorstep of modern progress. 

Cop City also opens the space to confront The City beyond the list of demands and the renewal and perfection of those same resistance strategies we've always deployed to endure the violence of an antiblack world. I hope we might return to Russell "Maroon" Shoatz's guidance on the need to build decentralized, quick-striking insurgent formations aligned with the formation of the many-headed, many-starred Hydra that has many advantages over that of the structured counter-institution that mirrors the Dragon formation of the fascist state. 

Re-framing the Black Mecca and the "City Too Busy to Hate" as the center forces us to take seriously the inability of any movement ignited by antiblack terror to account for an injury that, in turn, galvanizes a movement. In this moment, it is my hope that we also begin to consider and clarify how The Cop City cause and narrative has had to become a matter of the forest, the environment, bad development practices, the violence of a negligent governance regime and its police force, and the long history of environmental state violence as a genealogy of anti-indigenous genocidal violence conterminous with the settler colonial strategy. 

At the level of narrative, like that of optics, Cop City has had to displace Blackness and the "environmental injuries" that don't hold, don't cohere on Black flesh, in order to establish a movement that could galvanize global concern and solidarity. Perhaps in this formation, we might remember George Jackson's reminder that the urban guerrilla can both mingle with the enemy as they remain invisible, and that the position of the "urban guerilla" should always be assumed in times of war. In such times, "there is no contradiction between the military thinking and action and the primacy of politics." Only two options exist for the insurgent and its native cultural tradition: aggressive revolutionary action or calcification, a move to seize the present, or certification.

The demand to defend the forest against the construction of Cop City is not a "civil" ask, but an affirmation that this is war and the people—as anti-state terrorists—are always positioned on the defensive.

What, then, does this generation owe to The Culture beyond a complete break from it in the name of avenging the ancestors, the spirit of those whose anti-displacement and human rights struggles haunt Atlanta history, political culture, and critical thought? The lessons in war strategy from these and other natives, such as the public housing mothers Akira Drake ​​Rodriguez and Maurice Hobson, do not belong entombed in the state archive and the quiet soil of the long-since demolished housing projects from which they launched campaigns against displacement and brought attention to the horrors of their everyday life in organizing around the missing and slain children of the 1979-1981 Atlanta Child Murders. Their narratives of political struggle in the Negroliberal metropolis teach us the limits of state engagement and the capacity of The State to out-plan and maneuver a movement that seeks a compassionate state. The Atlanta organizing tradition that I am drawing on here has for generations inherited the burden of struggle from the civil rights past, from the progressive reform period of the Neighborhood Union and the Washington-Du Bois ideological split at the close of the 19th century. 

It is time we get fed up with Tradition and its use in strategies that airbrush the intergenerational violence that comes with the modernization of the plantation-derived technologies of antiblack terror in favor of stories of "triumph."  

When one sits with the significance of "the urban uprising" today, popular sentiment is always overrepresented by the anxiety excited in the psyche of the State and its dutiful subjects when faced with the prospect of those upheavals which, even if temporarily, suspend any semblance of order and adherence to "law." Such events of violent unrest must be prevented by all means in "The City Too Busy to Hate," and in their absence, ensuring access to the technologies of state force that compromises rebellion in its infancy are always a prioritized budgetary matter.

In our undying love for The Culture, we auto-generate counter-insurgent repressive strategies and do the work for the state. The time to face revisionism and counter-insurgency in our movements, their strategies, and in our consideration of revolutionary thought is now. The demand to defend the forest against the construction of Cop City is not a "civil" ask, but an affirmation that this is war and the people—as anti-state terrorists—are always positioned on the defensive. The plantation's expansion is always predicated on the ability to maintain the order by keeping the captive bound and accounted for. It expands only as its means of capture and containment do. The rebels who opt for the end of The City as the only viable means of stopping Cop City, APigD, Dickens and every mayor thereafter must therefore recognize that severance from The Culture and its (re)production is to break all ties with the idea of a city to come

Forever, I Love(d) Atlanta.

Contribute to the Atlanta Solidarity Fund to support the legal defense of Forest Defenders facing domestic terrorism charges and learn more about the ongoing fight to #StopCopCity and Defend the Atlanta Forest.

Up next:

This is the Atlanta Way: A Primer on Cop City

Why Cop City? Why here? Why now?

The struggle today around Cop City is the result of a decades-long fight over who Atlanta belongs to, who is run for, and who it stands against. Making sense of it requires understanding the city's history of shifting dynamics of class and racial domination.

More on cop city:

Tea S. Troutman (they/them) is an abolitionist, digital propagandist, editor, and critical urban theorist born in Macon, Georgia, and currently calls Atlanta home. Tea is a Ph.D. student in the Geography, Environment, and Society department at the University of Minnesota, and also holds a B.S. in Economics and a Master's of Interdisciplinary Studies in Urban Studies, both from Georgia State University. Tea's work draws heavily on their experience as a long-time community organizer in Atlanta, Georgia, and their research interests broadly consider urbanism and critical urban theory, afropessmism, black geographies, and black cultural studies. Their dissertation project is a critique of Atlanta, "New South Urbanism," Anti-Blackness and the global circulation of the idea of the Black Mecca.