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The Abolitionist Struggle to Stop Cop City: History, Geography, Intersections

By Micah Herskind, Kwame Olufemi, Sarah Haley, and Stuart Schrader - Haymarket Books, March 14, 2023

The movement to Stop Cop City in Atlanta has reopened the prospect of mass abolitionist organizing after years of ongoing racist police murder, carceral expansion, and political quietism under a Democratic administration. The movement has also built important new links between abolitionist politics and climate, labor, and urban organizing. We are excited to share this panel, intended as a contribution to this vital movement and to expanding the contemporary horizons of Left organizing in the U.S.

This panel of researchers and organizers will illuminate the deep backstory and intersectional context of the Weelaunee Forest struggle. An organizer with the member-based collective Community Movement Builders will speak to the importance of the forest movement as a struggle on behalf of ecological and racial justice. A researcher examining the international dimensions of police training and the disavowed role of police in counter-insurgency will consider the transnational circuits running throughout the proposal for Cop City. An organizer with the Southern Center for Human Rights will contextualize the fight within landscapes of abolitionism in Atlanta, including the movement against jail expansion there. A historian of the carceral state in Georgia will provide perspective on state violence in the region.


Micah Herskind is an organizer, policy advocate, and writer based in Atlanta, GA.

Kwame Olufemi is a community organizer who has developed worker-owned cooperatives, organized petition drives, mobilized protests, mutual aid programs, cop watches, and community safety training programs to develop safety networks independent of the police.

Stuart Schrader is the author of Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing (University of California Press, 2019).

Sarah Haley is a historian interested in the history of gender and women, carceral history, Black feminist history and theory, prison abolition, and feminist archival methods. She is the author of No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

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