After two years of resistance against the proposed “Atlanta Public Safety Training Center,” more commonly known as Cop City, more than 60 activists associated with the movement have been indicted on RICO charges. The push to build Cop City and the heavy-handed state response to local protests cannot be separated from the past decade of neoliberal crisis and anti-police protests rocking Atlanta and the country at large. Taya Graham and Stephen Janis of Police Accountability Report join Rattling the Bars for a special crossover episode on the movement to Stop Cop City.
Studio Production: David Hebden, Cameron Granadino
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino
Mansa Musa: Welcome to this edition of Rattling The Bars. I’m your host, Mansa Musa. Conrad George Jackson stated in one of his writings that the criminal injustice system itself is the enemy of any type of resistance to fascism. Throughout this country’s history, we see the use of the criminal injustice system to suppress any type of resistance to fascism. J. Edgar Hoover stated that the goal of the counterintelligence program COINTELPRO was to prevent the rise of a Black Messiah, who would be capable of organizing Black people and defying fascism.
Given our history, it’s no surprise that in 2023, we’re talking about an attempt to build a military-style complex for training police in Atlanta, also known as Cop City. Cop City itself will be a monument to our criminal injustice system. The fastest response to people protesting Cop City shows what this project is all about. As we speak, the state of Georgia is pursuing RICO charges for over 60 Cop City protestors. Before the crackdown on Cop City protestors, the LA Police Department criminal conspiracy section used agent provocateurs to set up and kill members of the Black Panther Party. The most noted agent provocateur was Louis Tackwood.
Criminalizing civil disobedience was a goal of the LA criminal conspiracy section and that’s only one of the countless examples of state fascist crackdown on descent, The Chicago Seven, The Panther 21, anti-war protestors in the ’60s, civil rights protestors, and now the Stop Cop City Movement. Joining me to talk about Cop City are my colleagues: Stephen Janis and Taya Graham. Welcome to Rattling The Bars.
Stephen Janis: Thanks for having us.
Taya Graham: Glad to be back.
Mansa Musa: Yeah, I’m definitely glad to have you all back. Before we go into unpacking Cop City, let’s give context to where we believe that this response is coming from. We had Rodney King.
Taya Graham: Yes.
Mansa Musa: We had Freddie Gray. We had George Floyd. We had multiple examples of people being killed by the police. As a result of that, we had an outcry, a national outcry, a worldwide outcry against police brutality, and the taxes being used. And the cry came, on a lot of levels, with police reform. I’ve got issues with reforming the police but that’s what they came up with. We need to do something with divesting the police.
And as a result of that, we see now the fastest response is to say okay, we hear you. So, we’re going to do something and we’re going to meet your demands by creating a training mechanism for the police. And the training mechanism we’re going to create, we’re going to create this state-of-the-art facility. We’re going to create this training facility that’s going to be so magnificent that when the police come out, they’re going to be like Robocop.
They’re going to be programmed to see the kitten in the tree and take it down. They’ll be programmed to see a little girl crossing the street with a bicycle and stop the car. They’d be so sanitized that when people call for the police, they’re going to expect the police to come and do what they’re delegated to do. That’s a myth.
Stephen Janis: Yeah.
Mansa Musa: All right, let me say this here: Both of you went down there and visited Cop City so educate our audience, starting with you Janis, on what is Cop City.
Stephen Janis: Well before I talk about Cop City, I want to say that we have this idea at the Police Accountability Report, that the idea that you can reform police so that police are no longer corrupt is an ill-thought-out idea. The idea that there’s this beautiful police, utopian police department that will do nothing but constitutionally enforce the law, is looking at the problem in the wrong way because the police department only reflects the underlying values of the community. And in this sense, in a sense we see in Baltimore, it made these cities… It reflects the massive wealth inequality and injustice that construct these communities.
The idea to say there’s some magic solution… And when you look to Baltimore – And Taya has talked about this extensively – Our consent decree, which we had in 2016 with the federal government, has led to tens of millions of dollars spent on the police department but nothing into the community. So, why do you think that’s going to help anything? That should be the first thing we say before we approach this idea of Cop City.
In March, Taya and I traveled to Cop City. And we really were on the ground and looking at it. And Cop City, as you said, is an expression of this idea and it’s an extension of a lot of concepts that we’ll get into as we go on. But the main thing about it was that it was very interesting to see the synergy between corporate wealth, which is the Atlanta Police Foundation, and the political might of the police. The two coincided in this lopsided neoliberal, you might call alliance, that wanted to further push the myth that you’re talking about that somehow investing more money in police will make a community better. And the biggest part of that is when you look at Cop City taking this beautiful, very limited amount of forest and tearing it down is emblematic of how corrupt that idea is, essentially.
Taya Graham: And let me describe for you a little bit, since we did go there in person, what the Weelaunee Forest is like. So, there are over 300 acres of this forest and it’s considered one of the four lungs of Atlanta; That is how important this forest is. So, its preservation is absolutely necessary because if you knock down, like they’re planning, 85 acres of the forest, it can contribute to soil erosion which means there’s going to be more flooding. If you take down these trees, then you’re going to be limiting the amount of air pollution that can be dealt with as these trees are beautiful, natural, carbon captures; They produce oxygen.
And these trees are absolutely essential to keeping those neighborhoods, as well as the city of Atlanta, cool and pleasant to be in. So, this is a beautiful forest that was originally deeded for the recreational use of the people who live in the unincorporated DeKalb County that surrounds it. And those are primarily Black, working-class neighborhoods. It was supposed to be kept for their use, for their enjoyment, and for their recreation. Instead, 85 acres are going to be raised to build this complex. Now, they’ve scaled back the complex a little bit. The Atlanta Public Safety Foundation originally planned to have this complex have demolitions but now they’re only going to have firing ranges. They’re not going to do the demolitions anymore.
Mansa Musa: We ain’t blowing it up. We’re going to shoot stuff.
Taya Graham: We’re only going to shoot things. They’re going to have a nightclub. They’re going to have an apartment building. They’re going to have mock city streets. It does seem the residents have a genuine concern as to what type of training they’re going to be receiving there.
Stephen Janis: And when we visited the neighborhoods surrounding it, you would see housing that was in disrepair. Also, in Atlanta, we would see $750,000 in condos rising but an extreme shortage of affordable housing. So, they’re building apartments, they’re building a mock village, but they’re not building affordable housing for people in the city or helping people to repair the housing that they have. That’s a perfect analogy or metaphor for what this is really about.
Mansa Musa: It resonates with your point when the whole design of the police is supposed to make the community safer and there should be a cohesion between the two. But in this regard, we see that one, you’re taking an ecological nightmare to start, and that means the quality of life in that community is going to get worse, but more importantly, when you have a depressed environment, then it’s right for police brutality. Because now you can justify coming into the neighborhoods and saying oh, well, if crime is running amuck… Yeah, you created such a depressed environment where people don’t have an alternative. And it’s not justification for criminal behavior but it’s the reality of what you do to the poor and oppressed community.
But going forward, okay, let’s look at how this came about. Taya, you were talking about – And this is really the insanity part about this whole thing with Atlanta – When you look at Atlanta, okay, you look at Dr. King, you look at the Civil Rights Movement, you look at everything that went on in Atlanta to get Atlanta to become what they call the Black Mecca with more like a Black mistake. In reality, you have the middle class, the liberal elitist middle class, that’s in Atlanta that controls most of the political machinery. They weighed and they sided with this. How are people being represented in this community?
Stephen Janis: Go ahead.
Taya Graham: Well, something I noticed is that there seems to be a divide between the old guard of Black civil rights activists who eventually moved into positions of leadership in Atlanta and the new younger generation of activists. The old Black civil rights folks, the NAACP, other activists, and other leaders in positions of power, have remained notably silent or have actually cosigned onto this project.
Whereas the younger generation of activists are pushing back and asking their elders, why aren’t they stepping forward? Why are they allowing this to happen? $90 million is going to be invested into this. And as Stephen rightly pointed out, there’s a need for affordable housing. How were they able to raise $90 million? Well, I can tell you: Home Depot put their money in. Delta Airlines put their money in. Merrill Lynch put their money in. Inspire Brands which is actually the parent company for Dunkin’ Donuts. And I won’t make a joke about cops and donuts. But Coca-Cola, it’s like a who’s who of corporate America.
Mansa Musa: Corporate America.
Taya Graham: And it so clearly shows something that many people have discussed. Which, there is a line between what police do that they… Police are primarily protectors of private property and capital interests. And this is so clear that money is being poured into a project to further the police’s ability to protect private capital as opposed to, genuinely, public safety.
Stephen Janis: Well, as we were talking about before, this is the culmination of the neoliberal crisis that started years ago. One of the ideas of neoliberalism that is often misunderstood, with regards to the police, is the fact that neoliberalism is supposed to be the idea that it disbands government programs because the private market can solve the problems. But what it is, in reality, is that private capital asks the government to actually ensure their profits. And that’s what’s different about it. Like in Baltimore, we have developers who use the government to subsidize and ensure their profits. And so, what happens when you do that is a tremendous imbalance of wealth and a tremendously destructive political economy. And the only way that you can keep that and tap down on the uprising about the unfairness, is to use policing.
And the best way to mythologize policing is to invest in things symbolically like Cop City, where you’re saying look what we’re doing. We’re building this beautiful… And partly, it was interesting because people mentioned to us that this was called so-called “The Atlanta Way” where they get together with the powers that be and the neoliberal – I don’t know what to call them – Tools. And they conjure this vision that investing in public safety is going to somehow improve the underlying condition isn’t true. Neoliberalism has caused a historic income inequality and building Cop City is not going to create safety. Building affordable housing might.
Mansa Musa: Right. And that’s really what’s going –
Stephen Janis: And it’s a mythology that continues. It continues to stay.
Mansa Musa: – Yeah. It definitely continues because the reality is that if you give people jobs, if you give people housing and you give people quality education –
Stephen Janis: Without lead in it.
Mansa Musa: – Yeah, without lead in it, you get people holistic food, you invest in people, then you don’t need the police because people are going to take care of themselves. But going back, looking at some of the things that’s going on in Atlanta, and what I found outrageous, is we’re talking about a place where at one point in time, people were so fearful of the police and terrorized them that they wouldn’t even come out their houses at night because of Jim Crow.
And now we have a situation where, because of corporate America lining your pockets, corporate America investing in your campaign, and corporate America ensuring that you stay in this seat of so-called power to continue to do the building of capitalists, now you turn a blind eye to the reality that you are encouraging a military-industrial-complex-style police department to police your community. Because they’re not going to police the more affluent; They don’t have to police the more affluent. They’re going to be the barricade between the affluent community and the poor and oppressed community.
Taya Graham: When you said that, that made me think of the reaction because this is something that Atlanta residents pointed out to us, in 2020, when Rayshard Brooks was brutalized by the police, there was an uprising in Atlanta. And the people at the time, the politicians, the people in power, the corporations, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Wells Fargo, all those folks who are funding this project, they got very scared. They very much wanted to protect their investment, their capital. And that’s one of the reasons why they’re turning to this public safety complex.
And one of the things that people don’t often mention is that in the area around Weelaunee Forest, that Black working-class area, that’s unincorporated DeKalb County. They have no representation on the city council that is voting for Cop City.
Stephen Janis: That has voted continually.
Taya Graham: So, they literally have no other choice than to go out in the street and protest and hold signs. They have no other way of expressing their voice. They are literally disenfranchised when it comes to this project.
Mansa Musa: And that was strategic because, as you said, if they go in an area where it’s not incorporated, then the politicians don’t have to worry about the pretense of being concerned or coming forward and reading all the script. Yeah, we’re going to investigate. They don’t have to come up with that. They can say well, hey, it’s business as usual.
But okay, let’s talk about the indictment of the 60 people under RICO. Now, this is probably the most ominous thing I’ve seen in terms of the utilization of the criminal justice system. And George Jackson said it’s the institution that’s the threat. And he was specifically talking about the criminal justice system, where you take the RICO Act, and are primarily responsible for where it’s really a catchall.
Stephen Janis: It is.
Mansa Musa: We could get charged with RICO right now.
Stephen Janis: Yes, we could.
Mansa Musa: And we say the wrong thing –
Stephen Janis: Absolutely.
Mansa Musa: – And somebody would say oh, yeah, well, they were talking about blowing up something. And we could get y’all with RICO and find ourselves in front of a federal grand jury trying to rationalize why our freedom of speech should be recognized. How did this come about?
Stephen Janis: Yeah. As Taya was talking about, there was a tremendous fear in the neoliberal coalition, that she discussed with corporations and police. Especially because they actually mentioned Rayshard Brooks, who was a man who was killed by police after falling asleep in a drive-thru line in a restaurant. So, there was tremendous fear after that and they got together and they saw these groups, these grassroots groups rising up. What are we going to do about them? How are we going to completely destroy the ability to protest?
Because this indictment is one of the most scary things, and I’ve been covering the criminal justice for 20 years, that I’ve ever read. This thing is insane. They do stuff like say they had letter-writing campaigns. They argued the First Amendment, they gave people numbers to call when they were in jail; Things that are all supposed to be fundamentally protected. And they indicted people for it. They indicted people for it. And the preamble is like an introduction. They have a little waxing philosophic on anarchism.
Taya Graham: Oh, my gosh. They had three pages describing anarchism. They talked about collectivism, mutual aid, and sacrificing individual needs for the collective good. I’m reading this.
Stephen Janis: All of it sounds really attractive to me.
Taya Graham: I was going to say, they’re making anarchism sound pretty great. But if it wasn’t so tragic what they were doing, I would have to laugh. They talked about handing out flyers as part of the criminal conspiracy.
Stephen Janis: They talked about zines. Zines.
Taya Graham: Making zines, the little –
Stephen Janis: Pamphlets.
Taya Graham: – Photocopy. You put a staple in the middle that you hand out, maybe you give them out to 20 or 30 people. They’re talking about zines as being part of a conspiracy. And to add to this, they’ve used domestic terrorism charges and weaponized them against the protesters. One of the most tragic things about the use of domestic terrorism charges is that originally, the law changing the exact meaning of domestic terrorism charges was done in order to ensure that Dylann Roof, who massacred those people, would be able to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
And at the time, an elected official went on record and said, you know what? Broadening the definition of domestic terrorism may seem like a good thing right now but this could be weaponized against activists. In particular, it could be weaponized against folks in the Black Lives Matter Movement. And what do we see right now? It’s being weaponized against activists. It’s being weaponized against people who are using their freedom of speech and people who are involved in the anti-racist and anti-police brutality movement.
Stephen Janis: This is like, instead of relying on a modicum of government structure, anarchy relies on human association instead of government to fulfill all human needs. Is that supposed to be an indictment of something?
Mansa Musa: What is that?
Stephen Janis: The community is going to rely upon itself to have its own power. It’s basically saying that the power only lies with us and not with you.
Mansa Musa: And to y’all point, now you’re weaponizing civil disobedience.
Stephen Janis: Exactly. The basics.
Mansa Musa: But more importantly, you’re saying that anybody that has a problem with an unpopular policy or procedure, anything other than saying nothing…
Stephen Janis: Yeah.
Taya Graham: Right.
Mansa Musa: Because if you say anything… Watch, if this gets by, then this becomes the template for all social disobedience. And to go back to your point, Janis, mainly when we look at Black Lives Matter when we look at any protest… I’m going to give you a good example of how they could have used it and the kids at Sandy Hook. Remember when 300,000 kids came to Washington? They said… about the gun laws. And it was 300 kids, juveniles; young kids.
Stephen Janis: Yes, it could have.
Mansa Musa: But they could turn around and say oh, no, this is anarchy. We’re going to indict them on RICO for coming out and talking about the NRA. That’s how services –
Stephen Janis: Even more absurd… We speak to people from the Atlanta Bail Fund, who they also indicted for money laundering. The total amount in question is $6,000.
Taya Graham: $6,000. It was absolutely absurd. And can I add –
Stephen Janis: Yeah, go ahead.
Taya Graham: – Very specifically, this money laundering that they accused… And we spoke to Marlon Kautz –
Stephen Janis: We spoke to him.
Taya Graham: – Of the Atlanta Bail Solidarity Foundation. So, what they do is that if you are exercising your right to free speech, you’re at a protestor –
Stephen Janis: And you get arrested.
Taya Graham: – And you get arrested, you can call them and they will help raise money to get you out.
Stephen Janis: And you write your number.
Taya Graham: But they put this in the charges that if you wrote their number on your arm so that you could call them later to be bailed out, that was considered part of a criminal conspiracy. And that $6,000 that Stephen mentioned, that money that was part of the money laundering, that was money that was for gas, flyers, printing media, yard signs; That’s the money laundering they’re talking about. I have never seen charges so trumped up in my life.
Stephen Janis: It’s insane.
Mansa Musa: I’m going to give you one. I’m going to give you where the real money laundering is. The real money laundering is the fact that you’re spending all this money from the state’s coffer to prosecute people on these bogus charges.
Stephen Janis: Yeah.
Taya Graham: Oh, thank you.
Mansa Musa: Because all the money that you spent, all this money … I remember Susan McDougal, when Kenneth Starr went at her, and all that money he spent on keeping her locked up, the amount of money that was spent on that, they could have built houses for everybody in the goddamn country. But it’s the same thing here. You spending all this money to justify this insanity that you call justice and that you could spend the same money on medical schools, and safer communities in the sense of providing more housing, which would create a safer environment, people investing it in jobs…
You could spend this money on this but instead, you’re going to spend money on criminalizing somebody for saying, oh, somebody’s going to bail me out. I can’t remember their number, so I’m going to write that number on my arm. Or I’m going to have that number in my pocket. Where have I had that number? Or, right here; Somebody call this number right here. So, are all y’all in the conspiracy because y’all conspiring to do what? To get out?
Taya Graham: Exactly, exactly.
Stephen Janis: The one thing we could say about this is that it must be what the activists in Atlanta have done has put so much fear in the criminal justice system, in the neoliberal system, that they must feel like they have to squash it out to nothing. Because honestly, they have put a mirror on the ugliness of what Cop City really is and the ugliness of the idea that underlines it. When we were down there, we actually saw, quite tragically, the aftermath after the police had a military organization go in and throw people out. But it was like there was a campfire. There were signs.
Taya Graham: And there were tents. There was a treehouse. And you could tell that this was a place where families had been there, that people –
Stephen Janis: It was a community. It was a community of people with mutual concern.
Taya Graham: – The people had been enjoying the space and it had been utterly destroyed. The only thing that was left was a memorial to Manny Teran, La Tortuguita.
Mansa Musa: Okay, right, the one they killed.
Taya Graham: Yeah. That was left to them. But it was really quite sad.
Stephen Janis: But it was humble. Do you know what I mean? It was humble.
Mansa Musa: I already know. And as I’m sitting back thinking about it, what they did or what they’re doing, like you say, it’s no longer about Cop City. See the narrative shifting. It’s no longer about Cop City; It’s about these anarchists, these saboteurs, these agent provocateurs that are coming down there to destroy the city. But you and I were talking about this earlier, Taya, when you look at the list of people that they indicted, it’s like the who’s who don’t live around in Georgia. It’s the who’s who. Where do you live? I don’t live in Georgia. You know what?
And this is a classic southern tactic. Back during the civil rights era, this was a classic Southern tactic that they used on the outsiders coming down here to start trouble; The bus boy and the buses coming down here to start trouble. So, this is them going back to that narrative like oh, outsiders are coming down here. Because the people of Atlanta don’t have a problem with this because it’s for the people of Atlanta. So, why would you have a problem if you’re not going to be down here? Y’all mad because we’re going to have a safe police place.
Taya Graham: I’m so glad you pointed that out because that is exactly the narrative that was fed to the mainstream media, especially when the first charges came out of the domestic terrorism charges, which happened at the Weelaunee Forest Music Festival. There were 33 people charged. 31 of them were from outside of Georgia. And they highlighted every state – There was one that was actually from outside of the US – Every single state that they were from and only two people from Georgia were actually charged with domestic terrorism.
And I was thinking to myself, that’s very purposeful because the people I spoke with said there were plenty of Georgia residents there. And it was very much to create a narrative that these are outside agitators, that our people here in the community are fine with this and these people are coming in and stirring our good folk up. That’s exactly what I got from that.
Stephen Janis: Unfortunately for them, the Constitution applies no matter what state you’re in. Technically. I don’t even know why that’s an issue.
Taya Graham: That’s right.
Mansa Musa: Something else that’s problematic about this – Because we recognize that when we had protests and Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and the war in Vietnam – When people protest, they come from all over the world to express solidarity with this issue. Now, you’re scaring people off by saying if you come down to Georgia, if you cross the state, we’re going to find some draconian law to say you’re transporting ill thoughts to bring into Georgia to create a problem for the Georgian citizens. Therefore, we’re going to charge you up under RICO or we’re going to charge you with conspiracy, or we’re going to charge you with everything but a homicide.
Stephen Janis: Yeah. The idea here, it’s not about crushing descent; It is affirming the idea that descent is somehow more destabilizing than the economic system they created.
Mansa Musa: That’s right. That’s right.
Stephen Janis: That, oh, my god, the real threat is about 20 kids sitting around a campfire, not Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola destroying the environment, destroying the world we live in. That’s not the threat. The threat is the kids that created the little, like you said –
Taya Graham: Little treehouse.
Stephen Janis: – Treehouses and sat inside a forest. That’s the real threat. And that’s the whole point of this is to somehow conjure this. It’s like the last gas with the neoliberal violence that we see.
Taya Graham: And I would add to that, one of the things that I noticed in that incredibly lengthy indictment was how they kept on talking about solidarity and mutual aid as if it was evil. And like you were talking about, people from all over the world came to participate in our protests in this country during a variety of civil rights movements. So, why is it a crime to receive support, help brotherhood, and aid from other people who, let’s say, don’t absolutely live in your city or aren’t directly impacted by the crisis that’s occurring in your community? Why is it a crime to receive support from others?
Stephen Janis: Because neoliberal capitalism is inherently divisive. And any community that erupts as an abeyance to it becomes a threat.
Mansa Musa: And that’s really the threat. Because if this existed back during the times of abolitionist slavery, all abolitionists would’ve been charged with the RICO.
Taya Graham: You’re so right.
Stephen Janis: Oh, my god, yeah.
Mansa Musa: This was everybody –
Taya Graham: Everyone in the underground railroad.
Mansa Musa: – Everybody in the underground railroad would’ve been charged with conspiracy to disrupt capitalism. And at the end of the day, like you say, Janis, that’s the problem. The problem is not civil disobedience; The problem is that capitalism, fascism, and oppression create an environment for police to run them up because they’re the occupying force in the community.
Stephen Janis: Well, we’ve seen it in Baltimore: The community was economically destabilized by deindustrialization and what do they do but send in militarized policing to solve the problem? What’s really strange about it for me, as a person who’s not necessarily a capitalist, capitalists are supposed to be more efficient with money. Well, if we had invested in the community, we wouldn’t need all these damn police. And that’s what they’re trying to say in Cop City is, if you take that $90 million and put it into us, we will show you what we can do as a community.
Mansa Musa: Yup. And remember in this conversation about the police and getting them out of the community and getting them away from us, was to invest in the community in the form of bringing social workers in, bringing mental health agencies, to bring people into the community to help the community get stronger. As opposed to bringing the limited amount of police that you have. But now, they shifted the narrative. It’s not even about the police anymore now.
Stephen Janis: No.
Mansa Musa: And unless we can get back on the subject matter of what’s really going on down there, it’s going to be about these 60 people.
Stephen Janis: Yeah.
Taya Graham: Something that we really found in having this conversation is that it’s highlighted what a threat our solidarity is, what a threat that is to our government. And that’s actually really shameful that human beings coming together in mutual aid and support of each other is considered a threat.
Something that we tried to point out to people when we did our reporting on Cop City is you may think this is a problem in Atlanta and in Georgia, and you think this isn’t going to be a problem for you. Well, we know for a fact, because this is part of their advertisement materials for the training facility, that roughly 40% of the police officers that are going to be trained at Cop City are going to be from outside of Georgia. They’re planning on training police officers and sheriffs from all around the country.
Mansa Musa: They can do that but people can’t come down there in solidarity. And Angela Davis made that in her book saying they come for me in the morning, they’ll come for you tonight.
Taya Graham: Absolutely.
Mansa Musa: As we close out, how do people get access to the indictment? And how do they get access to some more information on Cop City?
Stephen Janis: Google “Georgia Bureau of Investigation” and “press release for indictment.” Or the Georgia State’s Attorney General’s website has it, they posted a link to it. Honestly, I don’t usually tell people to read indictments. And there’s this idea of a speaking indictment versus a very basic indictment. Well, this is a blueprint indictment where it’s like this is a blueprint to suppress all human descent. It’s anti-humanist in its essence. Because if we can’t have solidarity amongst ourselves if we can’t have community coalesce around an idea that we don’t like, then it’s game over.
Mansa Musa: Yeah, it’s game over.
Stephen Janis: It’s game over.
Mansa Musa: This is 1983 in its lowest form.
Stephen Janis: Yeah.
Taya Graham: And you know what? Stephen made an excellent suggestion for everyone to read this indictment –
Stephen Janis: I strongly suggest it.
Taya Graham: – Because it’s a blueprint. Also, Cop City itself is a blueprint because we’re looking in our city, Baltimore, right now, at our own Cop City being built at a historic Black university at Coppin State. We’re looking at possibly a $330 million police training center being built in my city. So, if you think Cop City can’t come to you –
Mansa Musa: And as we close on this note, that really sickens me because you saying an HBCU, and the amount of money, they kick back to them, that’s automatically going like, okay, well, we’re going to look that way as opposed to investing that money. You don’t need to really look further when investing. You can ride up any street and see the abandoned miniums in the city.
Taya Graham: Yes.
Mansa Musa: And so, if you want to stop on any block and say, well, I’m going to invest $100,000 in this block, or $200,000 in this block, $400,000 in this block, the whole city would be revitalized, unified, and you won’t need the police because people would be invested in the community. Thank y’all for joining me in this conversation.
Stephen Janis: Yeah. Thank you for having us.
Taya Graham: Thank you for having us back.
Mansa Musa: Yeah. And I like having y’all back because it’s important. One thing on the ground, y’all, all things about exposing police and corruption when it comes to that particular institution. And we need people really to recognize that we’re not talking about Cop City. We’re not talking about Coppin State Cop City. We’re talking about a system of fascism and oppression that breeds conditions for people to be subjugated and dehumanized. And then, the response to that dehumanization, when they seek self-determination, the response is to build a Cop City, to militarize the police. Thank you for joining me.
Stephen Janis: Thanks so much.
Mansa Musa: We ask you to continue to support Rattling The Bars and The Real News. It’s only on Rattling The Bars and The Real News that you get this cutting-edge journalism and this cutting-edge investigation from both Janis and Taya. They’re always in the space, always exposing the injustice, always exposing those things that are problematic with this country.
And it’s only from Rattling The Bars and The Real News you’ll get this information. You’re not going to get this type of information on main media. You’re not going to get this type of information on major networks. You’re only going to get it on Rattling The Bars. You’re only going to get it on The Real News. Because guess what? We are really the news. Thank you.