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Stop Cop City: Infrastructures for Occupying the Forest Canopy

Here, I propose an infrastructural system that would enable the protestors of the proposed Public Safety Training Center in Atlanta to occupy the contested Dekalb County forest indefinitely by moving all critical training, living, and media infrastructures into the forest canopy.

This system serves to mitigate the potential damages of Cop City, including the environmental destruction required to build the center and the future violence enacted by police as a result of this increasingly militarized training, through the material and rhetorical instrumentalization of nature.

The iconic tree-sits in the forest have helped to delay the construction schedule by over a year. However, the makeshift encampments that support these canopy platforms remain vulnerable to police raids on the forest floor.

By facilitating and systematizing the day-to-day occupation of the canopy, the “forest defenders” can remain in the woods indefinitely to conduct strategic forms of environmental resistance.

Artificial bark wraps, which has shown to be a highly effective artificial habitat for the migratory Indiana Bat, can doubly serve as cauls to protect host trees from the grip of the extensive cabling system. Federal protection of the bat habitat further protects the structure by changing the legal status of the trees.