Episode

1/31 “Cop City”: The Massive Cop Training Facility The Georgia National Guard’s Been Called Into Protect w/ Matthew Johnson

January 31, 2023

Sam speaks with Matthew Johnson, interim director of Beloved Community Ministries, to discuss the demonstrations surrounding Atlanta’s “Cop City.” Then, Sam and Emma break down the biggest headlines of the day. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on the backlash to the officers responsible for the killing of Tyre Nichols, the lies involved in the initial police report, cooling inflation numbers, George Santos taking a step back from his committees, and the US’ response to political upheaval in Peru, before diving into coverage of Atlanta’s “Stop Cop City” protests which, while driven by peace, has inspired Governor Brian Kemp to call in the National Guard. Matthew Johnson then joins as he dives right into the legislation and development of the Atlanta Police Department’s “Cop City” training center, approved by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms without knowledge of the City Council in 2021, and aimed at replacing the biggest urban forest in the US with the biggest militarized police training facility in the US. Contextualizing this decision, Johnson then walks through Atlanta’s role as the most surveilled city in the US, the city with the worst racial income disparity, while featuring continuing gentrification and severe environmental racism, with a particular emphasis on the city’s water supply, all of which are factors that would be seriously enflamed by the construction of Cop City over the Atlanta forest. Next, Matthew Johnson and Sam explore the movement defending the forest as a vast coalition that Kemp and the Atlanta PD are attempting to pass off as organized domestic terrorism, slapping serious charges on protesters alongside the typical abuses of police brutality, which culminated with the murder of community member Torta. They wrap up by discussing the importance of supporting places like Defend the Atlanta Forest and the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, and the future of this fight.

And in the Fun Half: Tim Pool blames Defund the Police for fueling police brutality, Hochul continues to try to force herself into Cuomo’s mold of Progressive-hating Democrat, and Dave Rubin dives into his experiences in the hall of the ever-kind and gracious Elon Musk. They also discuss the persistence of anti-vaxxer rhetoric despite the clear signs that the vaccine mitigated COVID-induced myocarditis, and CNBC rails against the Marxism in Joe Biden’s FTC. Will from Nebraska discusses the impacts of the Right’s transphobic fear-mongering, and  Sam and Emma cover updates on Paul Pelosi’s attacker and his conspiracy blogging roots, plus, your calls and IMs!

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