Dear Decaturish – Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights supports Stop Cop City movementBeacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights Co-Chair Fonta High leads protestors during a rally on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Oct. 11,2021 calling on DeKalb County Commissioners to remove the ‘Indian War’ cannon from the Decatur Square. The canon was removed a few days later following numerous demonstrations against it. Photo by Dean Hesse.
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The Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights, a Black-led, multi-issue, grassroots organization based in Decatur, stands in solidarity with metro Atlanta residents, students, educators, clergy, and hundreds of local, national, and international activists and organizers calling for an immediate cancellation of”‘Cop City,” the $90 million, 85-acre project in the South River Forest, named Weelaunee by the Muscogee Nation, the original inhabitants of this area. We agree with the Walter Rodney Foundation that “the objections by the #StopCopCity movement lie squarely at the intersection of racial, environmental, economic, and social justice.”
DeKalb County (1822) and the City of Decatur (1823) were founded with the use of militarized, settler colonial violence to forcibly remove, dispossess, and deport thousands of Muscogee Creek people from their land. This was followed by the violent enslavement of Africans to work this stolen land. The origins of modern day policing can be found in the “slave patrols” which were created to establish a system of terror and squash uprisings by enslaved Africans. By the 1900s, local municipalities established police departments to brutally enforce Jim Crow segregation laws which continued until the end of the 1960s.
Last December, the Decatur City Commission approved two contracts with the ISO network LLC to install surveillance cameras and has continued to move forward with installations despite opposition from Beacon Hill. This same company is praised by the Atlanta Police Foundation for their “deployment” in Atlanta through Operation Shield of thousands of surveillance cameras. This has led Atlanta to become the most surveilled city in the U.S. Through their funding of Cop City, the corporate-sponsored Atlanta Police Foundation is promoting the expansion of police militarization which only perpetuates systemic oppression and violence against Black and other oppressed communities.
The Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights places the Indigenous – African connection established on this land at the center of our organizing. We believe that it is the radical task of our organization to address root causes of violence and work towards the decolonization and demilitarization of our community. This will be necessary in order to create the beloved community where we can live in harmony with each other and Mother Earth.
— Fonta High and Phil Cuffey, Co-chairs, Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights
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