Law enforcement detained at least 35 people in Atlanta on Sunday, March 5, at a solidarity music festival over a mile away from the Cop City construction site. Among those arrested was an NLG Legal Observer. All of these arrests are part of ongoing state repression and violence against racial and environmental justice protesters, who are fighting to defend their communities from the harms of militarized policing and environmental degradation on stolen Muscogee land. Each of these instances, including the many protesters charged with domestic terrorism, makes clear that law enforcement views movement activists as enemies of the state.
As noted in previous statements, the destruction of the Weelaunee Forest will undoubtedly exacerbate the climate crisis and expand the policing of Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color in Atlanta. Despite ongoing claims from law enforcement and city officials that Cop City is about keeping Atlanta safe, the community members taking an urgent and necessary stance against the construction of Cop City are the only party acting in the best interest of the community at large. As law enforcement continues to violently arrest and brutalize protesters, it is beyond clear that policing is the true threat to community safety.
NLG firmly condemns arrests of any protesters, including medics, jail support, and Legal Observers. As trained witnesses of police conduct, NLG Legal Observers serve an important role in supporting movement organizers and activists. NLG is proud to contribute in whatever ways we can to advance the critical work of our movement allies advocating for liberation and community care. NLG remains in solidarity with the movement to Stop Cop City.
NLG South Solidarity is operating a hotline for folks in need of Legal Observers, Know Your Rights trainings or information, and attorney or jail support. Learn more about the hotline on this page.