ATLANTA — Despite the recent violence displayed at the future site of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center which led to the arrest of 35 people, about 200 people came out Thursday to voice their displeasure against what oppositions call "Cop City."
The march was led through Downtown Atlanta -- beginning at the historic Martin Luther King Jr. Center and remaining mostly peaceful. Protesters in attendance said it is the police they are in fear of.
“Every rally that I have been participating in has been peaceful what I’m afraid of his militarization and police violence," Rukia Rogers said.
Rogers, who is among the group who braved the cold, rainy weather to march against the public safety training site. After the group first gathered, multiple speakers addressed the crowd and they all had a similar message.
“The location that they’re trying to build this in is going to destroy one of the biggest urban forces in America in a predominantly Black and working class neighborhood to build a militarized urban warfare training center that’s going to further brutal Black, brown and working class people and working class people and we cannot let that happen,” added rally attendee Shaheen Rama.
But Atlanta city officials have repeatedly said that’s not their aim, and instead the new public safety training site would provide a location for APD to train, as well as Atlanta Fire Department, who currently do not have their own facility.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens has also said steps to protect the environment has been made, including modifying the construction plan, but those at Thursday's rally and march don’t think those effort go far enough.
“If we don’t join the fight to stop Cop City and Cop City get built, all it will do is make police repression and police violence worst”, Rama added.
“We have to have another way to live together. We have to have a reimagine way of bring the community together, this can’t continue," Rogers said.
Almost two dozen people remain behind bars at the DeKalb County Jail stemming from last weekend's incident charged with domestic terrorism.