Atlanta officials decline to check signatures for petition to end police brutality.

Activists say Sept. deadline extended, but appellate court judge has paused official extension.

September 14th 2023.

Atlanta officials decline to check signatures for petition to end police brutality.
The Stop Cop City movement is facing another setback. The coalition in charge of gathering signatures to put the cop training facility’s construction to a vote claims that Atlanta officials are refusing to verify that they have enough.
The Vote to Stop Cop City Coalition Georgia has collected over 116,000 signatures, far exceeding the roughly 58,000 required to secure a citizens' vote on the matter, according to NBC News. However, the deadline for collecting the signatures has been a point of contention.
Activists claim the deadline was extended to September, but an appellate court judge has paused the official date extension, leaving the legality of the change in question. This has led to frustration from the coalition, who released a statement expressing their disappointment with the city.
“This is yet another disgraceful push by the city to stonewall democracy, showing that Mayor Dickens and the City of Atlanta fear the power of their constituents,” the statement said. “The City was notified on Thursday of our intention to submit, yet was too cowardly to release any response, or even respond to our email, until after we arrived.”
The news of the petition comes after the recent RICO indictment of 61 advocates involved in the Stop Cop City protests. In response, faith leaders from a local branch of the Universalist Unitarian Church chained themselves to a bulldozer in solidarity with the indicted. They were also taken into custody, with possible charges to follow.
The coalition remains determined to be heard. They want to ensure that citizens in Atlanta have a say on the facility being constructed in a predominately Black neighborhood as well as its environmental ramifications. However, Atlanta officials say they won’t initiate the verification process until a determination is reached regarding the legality of the deadline extension. An attorney representing the state contends that it does not possess the “discretion” to proceed until this matter is resolved.

The current situation is a testament to the strength of the Stop Cop City movement and the power of collective action. Despite the setbacks, the coalition is committed to fighting for their cause and defending their right to be heard. It is yet to be seen what the outcome of the petition will be, but the activists remain unwavering in their commitment to their cause and to their city.

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