Atlanta's Ties To Military Forces Lays A Dangerous Foundation For Violence

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Zain Murdock
January 5, 2024

From the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta is intertwined with Black history. Nearly half of its population is Black. But, as a stark contrast, the city also has a close relationship with dangerously anti-Black military projects and powers. Here are three examples.

As a state, Georgia ranks high in defense spending. Military technology development frequently takes place in Atlanta, and the development of fully autonomous weaponry is one project. 

Defense companies like Lockheed Martin have operations in Atlanta, and Georgia Tech’s Applied Research Corporation ranks second to it in defense contracting.

 Police also use Atlanta to test technology like surveillance drones and predictive policing software, not unlike the technology used for preemptive strikes in drone war. But in this case, Black Atlantans are the targets.

Lastly, cops train with other countries’ militaries and police through a privately-owned “counter-terrorism” program called Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE). Those countries include Hungary, China, and Israel. The program features tactics to promote fear in populations it perceives to be "terrorists."

And, as city officials continue to frame resistance to Cop City construction as terrorism, a future of anti-Black militarized violence only sharpens into view. And understanding the violence here enables us to dismantle systems of violence everywhere.

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