Rising Tide North America statement on the murder of Tortuguita by the police in Atlanta, Georgia:
“The news has spread around the country and around the world. On the morning of January 18, police began an attack on the Weelaunee Forest in south Atlanta. In this assault, they shot and killed Cami Teran, known by friends in the movement to defend the forest as Tortuguita.
Tortuguita, remembered by many as “fierce and loving,” was a Black and Indigenous anarchist. Their life was spent seeking a world without prisons and without police where people could care for each other and be in relationship with the natural world. This moving rememberance shares just a small part of their spirit and their story.
The Atlanta Police Foundation wants to clear hundreds of acres of forest to build a massive training facility that would include a mock city and be a site for police forces from across the country to come train in urban warfare. Tortuguita was part of the movement to protect the Atlanta forest and stop this project. The movement is centered in Atlanta and includes community groups, forest defenders, lawyers, activists fighting gentrification, racism, and police brutality, and neighbors of the forest. But the movement is not only in Atlanta. Everywhere that police oppress indigenous people to protect pipelines, everywhere that forests are cleared, everywhere that profit and control are valued more than life, this movement resonates. The struggle in Atlanta is all of our struggle.
You can learn more about this movement and how communities in Atlanta and around the country are responding in recent reports from Democracy Now and Rolling Stone. Police would like to blame their brutality on Tortuguita and their fellow forest defenders. There must be an independent investigation of Tortuguita’s murder.
If you are moved to gather or act in Tortuguita’s memory, vigils are planned in many towns and cities through the weekend. If there is nothing planned near you, organize something with your friends and invite your communities. Support the people arrested in the raid. The outpouring of love and solidarity feeds those grieving and gathering in Atlanta as they care for each other in coming days and weeks.
Here are some other ways to support the movement from the statement in Solidarity with the movement to stop Cop City & defend the Weelaunee Forest, endorsed by RTNA:
- Donate to the Atlanta Solidarity Fund to support legal costs for arrested protestors and ongoing legal action.
- Call on investors in the project to divest from Cop City (list of APF investors). Call on builders of the project to drop their construction contracts.
- Organize political solidarity bail funds, forest defense funds, and forest defense committees where you live.
- Organize or participate in local solidarity actions.
- Endorse and circulate this statement of solidarity.”