September 18, 2023
From The Real News Network
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After two years of resistance against the proposed “Atlanta Public Safety Training Center,” more commonly known as Cop City, more than 60 activists associated with the movement have been indicted on RICO charges. The push to build Cop City and the heavy-handed state response to local protests cannot be separated from the past decade of neoliberal crisis and anti-police protests rocking Atlanta and the country at large. Taya Graham and Stephen Janis of Police Accountability Report join Rattling the Bars for a special crossover episode on the movement to Stop Cop City.

Studio Production: David Hebden, Cameron Granadino
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


Transcript

The following is a rushed transcript and may contain errors. A proofread version will be made available as soon as possible.

Mansa Musa:

Welcome to this edition of Rattling The Bars. I’m your host, Mansa Musa. Conrad George Jackson stated in one of his writings that, “The criminal justice system itself is the enemy of any type of resistance to fascism.” Throughout this country’s history, we see the use of the criminal injustice system to suppress any type of resistance to fascism. J. Edgar Hoover stated that the goal of the counterintelligence program COINTELPRO was to prevent the rise of a Black Messiah, who would be capable of organizing Black people and the defying fascism.

Given our history, it’s no surprise that in 2023, we’re talking about an attempt to build a military style complex for training police in Atlanta, also known as Cop City. Cop City itself will be a monument to our criminal injustice system. The fastest response to people protesting Cop City shows what this project is all about. As we speak, the state of Georgia is pursuing RICO charges for over 60 Cop City protestors. Before the crackdown on Cop City protestors, the LA Police Department criminal conspiracy section used agent provocateur to set up and kill members of the Black Panther Party.

The most noted agent provocateur was Louis Tackwood. Criminalizing civil disobedience was a goal of the LA criminal conspiracy section, and that’s just one of the countless examples of state fascist crackdown on descent, The Chicago Seven, The Panther 21, anti-war protestors in the ’60s, civil rights protestors, and now the Stop Cop City Movement. Joining me to talk about Cop City are my colleagues, Stephen Janis and Taya Graham. Welcome to Rattling The Bars.

Stephen Janis:

Thanks for having us.

Taya Graham:

Glad to be back.

Mansa Musa:

Yeah, I’m definitely glad to have you all back. Before we go into unpacking Cop City, let’s just give context to where we believe that this response is coming from. We had Rodney King.

Taya Graham:

Yes.

Mansa Musa:

We had Freddie Gray. We had George Floyd. We had multiple examples of people being killed by the police. And as a result of that, we had an outcry, a national outcry, worldwide outcry against police brutality and the taxes being used. And the cry, it came on a lot of level with police reform. I’ve got issues with reforming the police, but that’s what they came up with. We need to do something with divesting the police.

And as a result of that, we see now the fastest response is to say, “Okay, we hear you. So, we’re going to do something and we’re going to meet your demands by creating a training mechanism for the police. And the training mechanism we’re going to create, we’re going to create this state-of-the-art facility. We’re going to create this training facility that’s going to be so magnificent that when the police come out, they’re going to be like Robocop.

They’re going to be programmed to see the kitten in the tree, take it down. They’ll be programmed to see little kid girl crossing the street with the bicycles, stop the car. They’d be so sanitized that when people call for the police, they’re going to expect the police to come and do what they’re delegated to do.” That’s a myth.

Stephen Janis:

Yeah.

Mansa Musa:

All right, let me say this here. Both of you all went down there and visited Cop City. So, educate our audience on, starting with you Janis, educate our audience on what is Cop City.

Stephen Janis:

Well, before I talk about Cop City, I just want to say that we have this idea at the police accountability report that the idea that you can reform police so that police are no longer corrupt is an ill thought out idea. The idea that there’s this beautiful police, utopian police department that will do nothing but constitutionally enforce the law is looking at the problem in the wrong way because the police department only reflects the underlying values of community. And in this sense, in a sense we see in Baltimore made these cities, it reflects the massive wealth inequality and injustice that construct these communities.

So, the idea to say there’s some magic solution, and when you look to Baltimore, and I think Taya has talked about this extensively, our consent decree, which we had in 2016 with the federal government has led to tens of millions of dollars spent on the police department, but nothing into the community. So, why do you think that’s going to help anything? So, that should be the first thing we say before we approach this idea of Cop City.

Now in March, Taya and I traveled to Cop City. And we really were on the ground and looking at it. And I think Cop City, as you said, is an expression of this idea. And it’s sort of an extension of a lot of concepts that we’ll get into as we go on. But the main thing about it was that it was very interesting to see the synergy between corporate wealth, which is the Atlanta Police Foundation and the political might of the police. The two coincided in this lopsided neoliberal, I guess, you would call alliance, that wanted to further push the myth that you’re talking about.

That somehow investing more money in police will make a community better. And the biggest part of that is when you look at Cop City taking this beautiful sort of very, I think, limited amount of force and tearing it down is I think emblematic of how corrupt that idea is essentially.

Taya Graham:

And let me describe for you a little bit, since we did go there in person what the Weelaunee Forest is like. So, there’s over 300 acres of this forest and it’s considered one of the four lungs of Atlanta. That is how important this forest is. So, its preservation is absolutely necessary because if you knock down, like they’re planning to 85 acres of the forest, it can contribute to soil erosion, which means there’s going to be more flooding. If you take down these trees, then you’re going to be limiting the amount of air pollution that can be dealt with as these trees are beautiful, natural carbon captures. They produce oxygen.

And these trees are absolutely essential to keeping those neighborhoods as well as the city at of Atlanta cool and pleasant to be in. So, this is a beautiful forest that was originally deeded for the recreational use of the people that live in the unincorporated DeKalb County that surround it. And those are primarily Black working-class neighborhoods. It was supposed to be kept for their use, for their enjoyment, for their recreation.

And instead, 85 acres is going to be raised to build this complex. Now, they’ve scaled back the complex a little bit. The Atlanta Public Safety Foundation originally planned to have this complex have demolitions, but now they’re only going to have firing ranges. They’re not going to do the demolitions anymore.

Mansa Musa:

We ain’t blowing it up. We’re going to shoot stuff.

Taya Graham:

We’re just going to shoot things. They’re going to have a nightclub. They’re going to have an apartment building. They’re going to have mock city streets. So, it does seem, I think, the residents have a genuine concern as to what type of training they’re going to be receiving there.

Stephen Janis:

And when we visited the neighborhoods surrounding it, you would see housing that was just in disrepair. And also, in Atlanta, we would see $750,000 condos rising, but an extreme shortage of affordable housing. So, they’re building apartments, they’re building a mock village, but they’re not building affordable housing for people in the city or helping people to repair the housing that they have. I think that’s a perfect sort of analogy or a metaphor for what this is really about.

Mansa Musa:

And it resonates your point when the whole design of the police is supposed to be to make the community safer and it should be a cohesion between the two. But in this regard, we see that, one, you’re taking an ecological nightmare to stop, one, and that mean the quality of life in that community is going to get worser.

But more importantly, when you have a depressed environment, then it’s right for police brutality because now you can justify coming into the neighborhoods and saying, “Oh, well, if crime is running amuck,” yeah, you create such a depressed environment, where people don’t have no alternative and it’s not justification for criminal behavior, but it’s the reality of what you do to the poor and oppressed community.

But going forward, okay, let’s look at how did this come about? Because you, Taya, was talking about, and this is really the insanity part about this whole thing with Atlanta. Because we was talking about when you look at Atlanta, okay, you look at Dr. King, you look at the civil rights movement, you look at everything that went on in Atlanta to get Atlanta to become what they call the Black Mecca with more like a Black mistake. In reality because you have the middle class, the liberal elitist middle class that’s in Atlanta that controlled the most political machinery. They weighed and they sided with this.

So, where are you? So, how is the people being represented in this community?

Stephen Janis:

Go ahead.

Taya Graham:

Well, something I noticed is that there seems to be a divide between the old guard of Black civil rights activists who eventually moved into positions of leadership in Atlanta and the new younger generation of activists. The old Black civil rights folks, the NAACP, other activists, other leaders in positions of power, they’ve remained notably silent or have actually cosigned onto this project.

Whereas the younger generation of activists are pushing back and asking their elders, why aren’t they stepping forward? Why are they allowing this to happen? Ninety million dollars is going to be invested into this. And as Stephen rightly pointed out, there’s a need for affordable housing. How were they able to raise $90 million? Well, I can tell you.

Home Depot put their money in. Delta Airlines put their money in. Merrill Lynch put their money in. Inspire Brands, which is actually parent company for Dunkin’ Donuts. And I won’t make a joke about cops and donuts. But Coca-Cola, it’s like a who’s who of corporate America.

Mansa Musa:

Corporate America.

Taya Graham:

And I think it so clearly shows something that many people have discussed, which there is a line between what police do that they … Police are primarily protectors of private property and capital interests.

Mansa Musa:

That’s right.

Taya Graham:

And I think this is so clear that money is being poured into a project to further the police’s ability to protect private capital as opposed to genuinely public safety.

Stephen Janis:

Well, as we were talking about before, this is kind of the culmination of the neoliberal crisis that started years ago. And one of the ideas of neoliberalism that I think is often misunderstood with regards to the police is the fact that neoliberalism is supposed to be the idea that it’s disband government programs because the private market can solve the problems. But what it is in reality is that private capital ask government to actually ensure their profits.

Mansa Musa:

That’s right.

Stephen Janis:

And that’s different about it. Like in Baltimore here, we have developers who use the government to subsidize and ensure their profits. And so, what happens when you do that is a tremendous imbalance of wealth and a tremendously destructive political economy. And the only way that you can keep that and I think sort of tap down on the uprising about the unfairness is to use policing.

And the best way to mythologize policing is to invest in things symbolically like Cop City, where you’re saying, “Look what we’re doing. We’re building this beautiful.” And I think partly, it was interesting because people mentioned to us that this was called so-called the Atlanta way, where they kind of get together with the powers that be and the neoliberal, I don’t know what to call them, tools. And they conjure this vision that somehow investing in public safety is going to somehow improve the underlying condition just isn’t true.

Neoliberalism has caused an historic income inequality and building Cop City is not going to create safety. Building affordable housing might.

Mansa Musa:

Right. And that’s really what’s going-

Stephen Janis:

And it’s a mythology that continues. It continues to stay.

Mansa Musa:

Yeah. It definitely continues because the reality is that if you give people jobs, if you give people housing and you give people quality education-

Stephen Janis:

Without lead in it.

Mansa Musa:

Yeah, without lead in it, you get people holistic food, you invest in people, then you don’t need the police because people going to take care of themselves. But going back, looking at some of the things that’s going on in Atlanta, and really, I found just outrageous is we talking about a place where at one point in time, the police was literally, people were so fearful of the police and terrorized them that they wouldn’t even come out their house that night before because of Jim Crow.

And now we have a situation where you actually because of corporate America and corporate America lying in your pockets and corporate America investing in your campaign and corporate America ensuring that you stay in this seat of so-called power to continue to do the building of capitalists that now you turn a blind eye to the reality that you are encouraging a military industrial complex style police department to police your community because they’re not going to police the more affluent. They don’t have to police the more affluent. They’re going to be the barricade between the affluent community and the poor and oppressed community.

Taya Graham:

When you said that, that made me think of the reaction, because this is something that Atlanta residents pointed out to us. In 2020, when Rayshard Brooks was brutalized by the police, there was an uprising in Atlanta. And I think the people at the time, the politicians, the people in power, the corporations, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Wells Fargo, all those folks who are funding this project, they got very scared. They very much wanted to protect their investment, their capital. And that’s one of the reasons why they’re turning to this public safety complex.

And I think one of the things that people don’t often mention is that in the area around Weelaunee Forest, that Black working-class area, that’s unincorporated DeKalb County. They have no representation on that city council that is voting for Cop City.

Stephen Janis:

That has voted continually.

Taya Graham:

So, they literally have no other choice than to go out in the street and protest and to hold signs. They have no other way of expressing their voice. They are literally disenfranchised when it comes to this project.

Mansa Musa:

And that was strategic because like you said, if they go in an area where it’s not incorporated, then they don’t have to worry about the pretense, the politicians don’t have to worry about the pretense of being concerned or coming forward and reading all the script. “Yeah, we’re going see about, we’re going to investigate.” They don’t have to come up with that. They can just say like, “Well, hey, it’s business as usual.”

But okay, let’s talk about the indictment of the 60 people under RICO. Now, this is here is probably the most ominous thing I’ve seen agree in terms of the utilization of the criminal justice system. And George Jackson say, “It’s the institution that’s the threat.” And he was specifically talking about the criminal justice system, where you take an act, RICK Act and primary responsible for where it’s really a catchall.

Stephen Janis:

It is.

Mansa Musa:

We could get charged with RICO right now.

Stephen Janis:

Yes, we could.

Mansa Musa:

And we say the wrong thing.

Stephen Janis:

Absolutely.

Mansa Musa:

And somebody say, “Oh, yeah, well, they was talking about blowing up something.” And we could get y’all with RICO and be find ourselves in front of federal grand jury trying to rationalize why our freedom of speech should be recognized. Okay, how did this come about?

Stephen Janis:

Yeah, I mean, I think as Taya was talking about, there was a tremendous fear in the neoliberal coalition that she discussed with corporations and police, especially because they actually mentioned Rayshard Brooks, who was a man who was killed by police after falling asleep in a drive-thru line in a restaurant. So, I think there was tremendous fear after that. And they kind of got together and they saw these groups, these grassroots groups rising up. What are we going to do about them? How are we going to completely, I think, destroy the ability to protest?

Because this indictment is one of the most scary things, and I’ve been covering the criminal justice for 20 years, that I’ve ever read. This thing is insane. I mean, they do stuff like say they had letter writing campaigns. They argued the First Amendment. They gave people numbers to call when they were in jail, things that are all supposed to be fundamentally protected. And they indicted people for it. They indicted people for it. And the preamble is like an introduction. I guess, they’d have a little waxing philosophic on anarchism.

Taya Graham:

Oh, my gosh. They had three pages describing anarchism. They talked about collectivism, mutual aid, sacrificing individual needs for the collective good. I’m reading this.

Stephen Janis:

All of it sounds really attractive to me.

Taya Graham:

I was going to say, they’re making anarchism sound pretty great. But if it wasn’t so tragic what they were doing, I would have to laugh. They talked about handing out flyers as part of the criminal conspiracy.

Stephen Janis:

They talked about zines, zines.

Taya Graham:

Making zines, the little-

Stephen Janis:

Pamphlets.

Taya Graham:

… photocopy. You put a staple in the middle that you hand out, maybe you give them out to 20 or 30 people. They’re talking about zines as being part of being a conspiracy. And just to also add to this, they’ve also used domestic terrorism charges and weaponized it against the protesters. And one of the most tragic things about the use of the domestic terrorism charges is that originally, the law changing the exact meaning of domestic terrorism charges was done in order to ensure that Dylann Roof, who massacred those people would be able to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

And at the time, an elected official went on record and said, “You know what? Broadening the definition of domestic terrorism may seem like a good thing right now, but this could be weaponized against activists. In particular, it could be weaponized against folks in the Black Lives Matter Movement.” And what do we see right now? It’s being weaponized against activists. It’s being weaponized against people who are using their freedom of speech and people who are involved in anti-racist and anti-police brutality movement.

Stephen Janis:

I mean, this is like, Instead of relying on a modicum of government structure, anarchy relies on human association instead of government to fulfill all human needs. I mean, is that supposed to be an indictment of something?

Mansa Musa:

What is that?

Stephen Janis:

The community is going to rely upon itself to have its own power? I mean, it’s basically saying that the power only lies with us and not with you.

Mansa Musa:

And to y’all point, when you’re taking the weaponize, now you’re weaponizing just civil disobedience.

Stephen Janis:

Exactly, the basics.

Mansa Musa:

But more importantly, you’re weaponizing, you’re saying that anybody that has a problem with an unpopular policy or procedure, depending on how they … Anything other than saying nothing.

Stephen Janis:

Yeah.

Taya Graham:

Right.

Mansa Musa:

Because if you say anything, if this get by, this watch, if this get by, then this becomes the template for all social disobedience. And to go back to your point, Janis, mainly when we look at Black Lives Matter, when we look at any type of protest, I’m going to give you a good example of how they could have used it and the kids at Sandy Hook. Because remember when 300,000 kids came to Washington, they said that because about the gun laws and it was 300 kids, juvenile, I mean young kids.

Stephen Janis:

Yes, it could have.

Mansa Musa:

But they could turn around and say, “Oh, no, this is anarchy. We’re going to indict them on the RICO for coming out talking about the NRA.” That’s how services-

Stephen Janis:

And I mean, even more absurd. We speak people from the Atlanta Bail Fund, who they also indicted for money laundering. The amount, total amount of question is $6,000.

Taya Graham:

Just $6,000. It was absolutely absurd. And can I just add?

Stephen Janis:

Yeah, go ahead.

Taya Graham:

Very specifically, this money laundering that they accused and we spoke to [inaudible 00:20:09].

Stephen Janis:

We spoke to it.

Taya Graham:

… of the Atlanta Bail Solidarity Foundation. So, what they do is that if you are exercising your right to free speech, you’re at a protest-

Stephen Janis:

And you get arrested.

Taya Graham:

… and you get arrested, you can call them and they will help raise money to get you out.

Stephen Janis:

And you write your number.

Taya Graham:

But they criminalized, they put this in the charges that if you wrote their number on your arm so that you could call them later to be bailed out, that was considered part of a criminal conspiracy. And that’s $6,000 that Stephen mentioned, that money that was part of the money laundering, that was money that was for gas, flyers, printing media, yard signs. That’s the money laundering they’re talking about. I have never seen charges so trumped up in my life.

Stephen Janis:

It’s insane.

Mansa Musa:

I’m going to give you one. I’m going to give you where the real money laundering is. The real money laundering is the fact that you’re spending all this money from the state’s [inaudible 00:20:59] to prosecute people on these bogus charges.

Stephen Janis:

Yeah.

Taya Graham:

Oh, thank you.

Mansa Musa:

Because all the money that you spent, all this money … I remember Susan McDougal, when Kenneth Starr went at her and all that money he spent on keeping her locked up, the amount of money that was spent on that, they could have built houses for everybody in the goddamn country. But it’s the same thing here. You spending all this money to justify this insanity that you call justice and that you could spend the same money on medical schools, safer communities in the sense of providing more housing, which would create a safer environment, people more investing it. Jobs.

You could spend this money on this, but instead you’re going to spend some money on saying you’re going to criminalize somebody for saying, “Oh, somebody going to bail me out. I can’t remember their number, so I’m going to write that number on my arm. Or I’m going to have that number in my pocket. Where have I had that number at? Or right here. Somebody call this number right here. So, all y’all in the conspiracy because y’all conspiring to do what? To get out?”

Taya Graham:

Exactly, exactly.

Stephen Janis:

The one thing we could say about this is that it must be what they have done, what the activists in Atlanta have done has put so much fear in the criminal justice system, in the neoliberal system that they must feel like they have to squash it out to nothing. Because honestly, they have put a mirror on the ugliness of what Cop City really is and the ugliness of the idea that underlines it. And we went down there. When we were down there, we actually saw quite tragically the aftermath of after police had a military organization gone in and just thrown people out. But it was just, like there was a campfire. There were signs.

Taya Graham:

And there were tents. There was a treehouse. And you could tell that this was a place that there were families had been there, that people-

Stephen Janis:

It was a community.

Taya Graham:

Yeah.

Stephen Janis:

It was a community of people with mutual concern.

Taya Graham:

The people had been enjoying the space and it had just been utterly destroyed. The only thing that was left was a memorial to Manny Teran, La Tortuguita.

Mansa Musa:

Okay, right, the one they killed.

Taya Graham:

Yeah. That was left to them. But it was really quite sad.

Stephen Janis:

But it was humble. Do you know what I mean? It was humble.

Mansa Musa:

I already know. And as I’m sitting back thinking about it, because what they did or what they’re doing, like you say, it’s no longer about Cop City. See the narrative shifting. It’s no longer about Cop City. It’s about these anarchists, these saboteurs, these agent provocateurs that’s coming down there to destroy the city. But me and you was talking about this earlier, Taya, when you look at the list of people that they indicted, it’s like the who’s who don’t live around in Georgia. It’s the who’s who, where you live at. I don’t live in Georgia.

You know what? And this is a classic southern tactic. And back during civil rights era, this was a classic southern tactic that they used the outsiders coming down here to start trouble and the bus boy, the buses coming down here to start trouble. So, this is they going back to that narrative like, “Oh, outsiders coming down here because the people of Atlanta don’t have no problem with this because it’s for the people of Atlanta. So, why would you have a problem if you’re not going to be down here? Y’all mad because we’re going to have a safe police place.”

Taya Graham:

I’m so glad you pointed that out because that is exactly the narrative that was fed to the mainstream media, especially when the first charges came out of the domestic terrorism charges, which happened at the Weelaunee Forest Music Festival. There were 33 people charged. Thirty-one of them were from outside of Georgia. And they highlighted every state. I think there was one that was actually from outside the United States. Every single state that they were from, and only two people from Georgia were actually charged with domestic terrorism.

And I was thinking to myself, that’s very purposeful because the people I spoke with said there were plenty of Georgia residents there. And it was very much to create a narrative that these are outside agitators, that our people here in the community are fine with this and these people are coming in and stirring our good folk up. That’s exactly what I got from that.

Stephen Janis:

I mean, unfortunately for them, the constitution applies no matter what state you’re in. Technically. I don’t even know why that’s an issue.

Taya Graham:

That’s right.

Mansa Musa:

Something else that’s problematic about this because we recognize that when we had protests and occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, the war in Vietnam, when people protest, they came from all over the world to express solidarity with this issue. Now, you’re scaring people off by saying, “If you come down to Georgia, you cross the state. Now, we’re going to find some draconian law to say you transporting ill thoughts to bring into Georgia to create a problem for the Georgian citizens. Therefore, we’re going to charge you up under RICO or we’re going to charge you with conspiracy, or we’re going to charge you with everything but a homicide.”

Stephen Janis:

Yeah. I mean, I really think that the idea here is to really, it’s not just about crushing descent. It is affirming the idea that descent is somehow more destabilizing than the economic system they created, right?

Mansa Musa:

That’s right. That’s right.

Stephen Janis:

That, oh, my god, the real threat is about 20 kids sitting around a campfire, not Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola destroying the environment, destroying the world we live in. That’s not the threat. The threat is the kids that created little, like you said-

Taya Graham:

Little treehouse.

Stephen Janis:

… treehouses and sat inside a forest. That’s the real threat. And that’s the whole point of this is to somehow conjure this. It’s like the last gas with the neoliberal sort of violence that we see.

Taya Graham:

And I would just add to that, one of the things that I noticed in that incredibly lengthy indictment was how they kept on talking about solidarity and mutual aid as if it was some kind of evil. And like you were talking about, people from all over the world came to participate in our protests in this country during a variety of civil rights movements. So, why is it a crime to receive support, help brotherhood and aid from other people who, let’s say, don’t absolutely live in your city or aren’t directly impacted by the crisis that’s occurring in your community? Why is it a crime to receive support from others?

Stephen Janis:

Because neoliberal capitalism is inherently divisive. And any community that erupts as an abeyance to it becomes a threat.

Mansa Musa:

And that’s really the threat. Because if this was existed back during the times of the abolitionist slavery that everybody, that all abolitionists would’ve been charged with the RICO.

Taya Graham:

You’re so right.

Stephen Janis:

Oh, my god, yeah.

Mansa Musa:

This was everybody-

Taya Graham:

Everyone in the underground railroad.

Mansa Musa:

Everybody in the underground railroad would’ve been charged with conspiracy to disrupt capitalism. And at the end of the day, that’s what really, like you say, Janis, that’s the problem. The problem is not civil disobedience. The problem is that the capitalism and fascism and oppression, that creates an environment for police to run them up because they’re the occupying force in the community.

Stephen Janis:

Well, we’ve seen in Baltimore, the community was economically destabilized by deindustrialization and what do they do, but send in militarized policing to solve the problem. I mean, it’s really strange about it for me as a person who’s not necessarily a capitalist, capitalists supposed to be more efficient with money. Well, if we had just invested in the community, we wouldn’t need all these damn police. And I think that’s what they’re trying to say in Cop City is, “If you take that $90 million and put it into us, we will show you what we can do as a community.”

Mansa Musa:

Yup. And remember in this conversation about the police and getting them out of the community and just getting them away from us was to invest in the community, in the form of bringing social workers in, bringing mental health agencies, to bring people into the community to help the community get stronger as opposed to bringing the police and limited amount of police that you have. But now, they then shifted the narrative. It’s not even about the police no more now.

Stephen Janis:

No.

Mansa Musa:

And unless we can get back on the subject matter of what’s really going on down there, it’s going to be about these 60 people.

Stephen Janis:

Yeah.

Taya Graham:

Something that I think we really found in having this conversation is that it’s highlighted what a threat our solidarity is, what a threat that is to our government. And that’s actually really shameful that human beings coming together in mutual aid and support of each other is considered a threat.

And something that we tried to point out to people when we did our reporting on Cop City is you may think this is a problem in Atlanta and in Georgia, and you think this isn’t going to be a problem for you. Well, we know for a fact because this is part of their advertisement materials for the training facility that roughly 40% of the police officers that are going to be trained at Cop City are going to be from outside of Georgia. They’re planning on training police officers and sheriffs from all around the country.

Mansa Musa:

They can do that, but people can’t come down there in solidarity. And Angela Davis made that in her book if they come in the morning, say, “They come for me in the morning, they’ll come for you tonight.”

Taya Graham:

Absolutely.

Mansa Musa:

As we close out, how do people get access to the indictment and how do they get access to some more information on cops?

Stephen Janis:

Just Google Georgia Bureau of Investigation and press release for indictment or the Georgia State’s Attorney General website has it, posted a link to it. Honestly, I don’t usually tell people to read indictments. And there’s this idea of a speaking indictment versus just a very basic indictment. Well, this is a blueprint indictment where it’s like this is a blueprint to suppress all human descent. It’s anti-humanist in its essence. Because if we can’t have solidarity amongst ourselves, if we can’t have community coalesce around an idea that we don’t like, then it’s game over.

Mansa Musa:

Yeah, it’s game over.

Stephen Janis:

It’s game over.

Mansa Musa:

This is 1983 in its lowest form.

Stephen Janis:

Yeah.

Taya Graham:

And you know what? Stephen made an excellent suggestion for everyone to read this indictment-

Stephen Janis:

I strongly suggest it.

Taya Graham:

… because it’s a blueprint. Also, Cop City itself is a blueprint because we’re looking in our city, Baltimore, right now at our own Cop City being built at a historic Black university at Coppin State, we’re looking at possibly a $330 million police training center being built in my city. So, if you think Cop City can’t come to you…

Mansa Musa:

And as we close on this note, that really sickens me because you saying an HBCU, and the amount of money, they kick back to them, that’s automatically going like, “Oh, okay, well, we’re going to look that way.” As opposed to investing that money. You don’t need to really look farther when investing. You can ride up any street and see the abandonminiums in the city.

Taya Graham:

Yes.

Mansa Musa:

And so, if you want to stop on any block and say, “Well, I’m going to invest $100,000 in this block, or $200,000 in this block, $400,000 in this block,” the whole city be revitalized, unified, and you won’t need the police because people be invested in the community. Thank y’all for joining me on this conversation.

Stephen Janis:

Yeah. Thank you for having us.

Taya Graham:

Thank you for having us back.

Mansa Musa:

Yeah. And I like having y’all back because it’s important. One thing on the ground, y’all, all things about exposing police and corruption when it comes to that particular institution, and we need people really to recognize that we’re not talking about Cop City. We’re not talking about cop and state Cop City. We’re talking about a system of fascism and oppression that breeds conditions for people to be subjugated and dehumanized. And then, the response to that dehumanization, when they seek the self-determination, the response is to build a Cop City, to militarize the police. Thank you for joining me.

Stephen Janis:

Thanks so much.

Mansa Musa:

We continue to ask you to continue to support Rattling The Bars and The Real News. It’s only on Rattling The Bars and The Real News that you get this cutting edge journalism, this cutting edge investigation from both Janis and Taya. They’re always in the space, always exposing the injustice, always exposing those things that are problematic with this country.

And it’s only from Rattling The Bars and The Real News you’ll get this kind of information. You’re not going to get this type of information on main media. You’re not going to get this type of information on major networks. You’re only going to get it on Rattling The Bars. You’re only going to get it on The Real News because guess what? We are really the news. Thank you.

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Source: Therealnews.com