Last month a RICO indictment came against 61 people alleged to be a part of Defend the Atlanta Forest. RICO(Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) carries sentences of up to 20 years, some named in the indictment already face charges of Domestic Terrorism carrying between 5 and 30 years by itself. The fund taking donations to support legal defense is the Atlanta Solidarity Fund.
The Defend the Atlanta Forest struggle is being engaged with in many directions and with many tactics from legal, to clandestine attack and sabotage, to planned mass non-violent direct action protest.
Clandestine action, claimed through communiques, continue to include such things as sabotage of machinery involved in construction, attacks on funders/contractors, attacks on the police, and the public identification of police officers. Interestingly during the last week of action in Atlanta, various parts of Norfolk Southern’s rail infrastructure was sabotaged. The communique claiming the rail sabotaged stated “our original intent was not propaganda of the deed, but to cause economic harm. However, in light of the recent RICO charges, we realized that people might need a little encouragement on how to respond. Norfolk Southern owns and operates many railroads across the country east of the Mississippi.”
The petition organized by Vote To Stop Cop City is currently in a legal battle as the signatures in the petition are verified and counted. This petition, if accepted, would put to a vote the lease that allows the Atlanta Police Foundation to build cop city on the land.
Shortly after religious individuals chained themselves to construction equipment, a new group, Block Cop City, announced plans for a mass action on Nov. 13 to halt construction of the facility. The group says it plans to hold a 70-city tour in the runup to the mass action and then a convening in Atlanta beginning Nov. 10 and ending with the mass action at the construction site. Block Cop City, says November’s action will not engage in the tactic of property destruction and economic sabotage used in March and at other points over the last two years. The group plans instead to engage in a tactic known as “non-violent direct action.”