Atlanta, Georgia, with the support of the police force, banks and corporations, is trying to build a paramilitary police base in the Weelaunie Forest on 300 acres that was promised as a recreation space to the majority-black community living nearby. The base will be used to house police from across the nation and internationally to train them in urban warfare. The local community is largely opposed to it. They have been using traditional tactics of education, demonstrations and holding space through an occupation of the forest. This has all been met with state repression – violence, the murder of a 26-year old forest defender, arrests and felony terrorism charges. Kamau Franklin, of Community Movement Builders, speaks about the efforts to stop Cop City and why it represents the next level in the escalation of the militarization of police that will impact all of us. A week of action is currently underway.
Kamau Franklin is the founder of Community Movement Builders, Inc. Kamau has been a dedicated community organizer for over thirty years, beginning in New York City and now based in Atlanta. For 18 of those years, Kamau was a leading member of a national grassroots organization dedicated to the ideas of self-determination and the teachings of Malcolm X.
He has spearheaded organizing work in various areas including youth organizing and development, police misconduct, and the development of sustainable urban communities. Kamau has coordinated and led community cop-watch programs, liberation/freedom schools for youth, electoral and policy campaigns, large-scale community gardens, organizing collectives and alternatives to incarceration programs. Kamau was an attorney for ten years in New York with his own practice in criminal, civil rights and transactional law. He now lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and two children.