Right Wing Billionaires Koch Brothers Attacked MLK. Now the Kochs are funding Atlanta’s Cop City in Honor of Him
The controversial Cop City project continues ahead full steam. Right-wing, fascist Georgia governor Brian Kemp, has decided that the project will be completed by any means necessary including the political assassination of forest defender Manuel (Tortuguita) Teran. On the morning of January 18th, 2023, Tortuguita was shot over 13 times by Georgia State Troopers. The Troopers insist that the killing was an act of “self-defense”, claiming that Tortuguita fired first at a trooper. However, there is no evidence to support this claim. Numerous eye-witnesses have stated that there was no exchange of gunfire, but instead a barrage of gunfire from Georgia State Patrol officers. Tortuguita’s body bears the truth of this brutal assassination.
In response to the murder, members of the Atlanta community have been in an uproar. Police cars have been wrecked, windows have been broken at the Atlanta Police Foundation, and property of the funders of Cop City have been targeted in a continued trail of property damage. After that, there were widespread condemnations of “violence” from city officials and misappropriated quotes of MLK by Sen Raphael Warnock claiming that violence “does more bad”. Interestingly, these condemnations of violence have yet to happen when Georgia law enforcement agencies target and harm protestors and organizers in Atlanta. I expect that condemnation of police violence to happen any day now, pun intended.
Furthermore, the violence does not end with the murder of Tortuguita. Recently, video of the brutal lynching of Tyre Nichols has been released and staged carefully by local and federal officials. Once again, the response from politicians and law officials has been widespread performative outrage and media calls for more training and peaceful protesting. Just one day before the video was released, Gov. Brian Kemp ordered 1,000 troops from the National Guard to be ready to wage war on peaceful protestors. Georgia law officials continue to use violence/ threat of violence to achieve their political ends and wreak havoc throughout the BIPOC community. Their actions make it ever-so-clear that they will fight to maintain a monopoly of violence at all costs.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “follow the money”? With every crime, there is big money behind it. Cop City has always been a criminal operation backed by some of the world’s largest companies, including Delta, Waffle House, Norfolk Southern, Home Depot, Georgia Pacific, Equifax, Carter, Accenture, Wells Fargo, and UPS. This story will highlight Georgia Pacific, which is a subsidiary of the largest private business in the world, Koch Industries. Koch Industries is owned by the wealthiest group of brothers in the world and notorious racists, but also mega funders of numerous right-wing candidates and causes. Cop City is just another big fish in the Koch network.
Georgia Pacific has headquartered in Atlanta and is a large distributor of paper products. They are also one of the largest polluters in the country whose environmental destruction mostly impacts poor, Black communities. Georgia Pacific has very close ties to potential presidential nominee, right-wing governor, and descendant of slave owners, Brian Kemp. Kemp through his notably owned business “Plantation Partners” owns numerous tree farms in Georgia and guess who buys their trees from Brian Kemp? Georgia Pacific. Koch Industries also donated a cool $138K to the Brian Kemp gubernatorial campaign in 2022 making Koch Industries one of the largest bribers aka “funders” of his campaign.
Now, why would Koch Industries be interested in funding Atlanta’s Cop City which according to the city honors and advances the legacy of MLK? Two toxic words, capitalism and racism. The Koch Brothers make most of their money from pillaging the environment via oil production, deforestation, and paper production. Thus the proposed militarized police training facility would be a great place where police would train to repress and terrorize future environmental movements as they have always done and already done in the case of forest defender, Manuel (Tortiguita) Teran, and throughout the world. Environmentalists have for a long time been considered to be “domestic terrorists” by the FBI and Homeland Security. Environmentalists throughout the world have been murdered, imprisoned, and arbitrarily criminalized for their activism. The recent Standing Rock protests demonstrated the extreme lengths that big businesses and the state will go to terrorize and repress these environmental movements. Furthermore, considering that Cop City will be the largest militarized police training facility in the country and will train nearly 43% of out-of-state officers, this facility will be used to crush environmental movements and even union organizers as the Koch Brothers are fiercely anti-unions as most billionaire capitalists are.
Secondly, Cop City will be the Koch Brothers’ way to advance white supremacy. The brothers are notorious racists and have been from the very beginning of their storied legacies. They were fiercely anti-communists which invariably led to being fiercely anti-Blackness as MLK and other civil rights and Black liberation activists were considered to be “communist agitators” and “enemies of the state”. This should not be surprising as the Koch Brothers were sons of Fred Koch who was the founder of the rapid racist right-wing fascist group, the Birch Society. Charles Koch later was instrumental in the attack on MLK and civil rights activists by labeling them communists as a member of the John Birch Society. The Birch Society was single-handedly responsible for the rise of Reagan and backlash to civil rights but also the rise of white nationalist conspiratorial figures like Alex Jones. The John Birch Society was also supported by right-wing supremacist billionaire H.L. Hunt, who, in collaboration with the federal govt, was involved in the MLK assassination. Charles Koch did not resign from this organization until 1968, the year of MLK’s assassination.
Since the time of MLK’s assassination in 1968, the Koch Brothers have been instrumental in the rise of right-wing politicians and backlash to civil rights. The Koch Brothers have been instrumental in funding most of the right-wing think tanks and political parties, the Heritage Foundation, the Libertarian Party, The Hoover Institute, and The Cato Institute that continue to push American politics to the right but also the rise of anti-Black “Black conservatism” to produce more Black faces for their explicitly racist, right-wing ideology. The Koch Brothers have also been instrumental in the rolling back of voting rights, school desegregation efforts, environmental protections (pollution disproportionately affects poor, Black communities), and affirmative action. America is a KKKoch nation and they have control over the entire Republican party but they also fund the far right, openly white nationalist faction of the Republican Party i.e. the Tea Party, Alex Jones that continuously pushes the entire country further to the right.
Given the Koch Brothers’ extreme hostility to MLK and civil rights, why would the Atlanta Police Foundation take money from them to fund Cop City, which is supposed to honor the legacy of MLK? Cop City honoring the legacy of MLK is pure unadulterated bullshit or copaganda. Policing has always been about white supremacy and maintaining that system. No amount of training or funding of the police will eliminate this. It will only make it worse. In reality, the Atlanta Police Foundation teaming up with Koch Brothers via Georgia Pacific is perfect bedfellows. The Koch Brothers are free-market fascists who oppose unions, environmental regulations, civil rights protections, and who destroy the environment and countless lives to make billions in profits. That violent ideology (capitalism) must be maintained through violent policing, hence why historically and to the present day, police attack union organizers, Black freedom fighters, environmentalists, and left-wing activists who are deemed “socialists”. Cop City itself will destroy the second most polluted river in the country, has skirted all environmental regulations, and will be built to attack and terrorize anyone who opposes racism and capitalism. Cop City is indeed a perfect Koch plan.
To support the movement to stop Cop City, visit: https://communitymovementbuilders.org/stop-cop-city/
How Charles Koch Backed the John Birch Society at the Height of Its Attacks on Martin Luther King | PR Watch
The history of far-right populism, from the John Birch Society to Trumpism | On Point (wbur.org)
The MLK Tapes – The true story of the plot to kill Dr. King
Alex Jones Paid By The Koch Brothers?! (filmsforaction.org)
How the Koch brothers built the most powerful rightwing group you’ve never heard of | Koch brothers | The Guardian
Taking Aim at Trump, Koch Network Will Back G.O.P. Primary Candidates – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
7 disturbing facts about the Koch brothers’ civil rights history | Salon.com
Affirmative Action under Attack Again, Based on the Same Old Bogus Nonsense – Left Voice
Smell something, tell something: Black residents in Coastal Georgia work to hold polluters accountable – The Current (thecurrentga.org)
Doc ‘Vigilante’ Accuses Georgia Gov. Kemp Of Disenfranchising Voters – Deadline
Environmentalists Classified as Terrorists, Get Stiff Sentences. – ABC News (go.com)
Our Enemies in Blue by Kristian Williams
Defend the Atlanta Forest on Twitter: “Who is funding Atlanta Police Foundation’s #CopCity? Brasfield & Gorrie — the Cop City general contractors Norfolk Southern— destroyers of East Palestine, OH Brent Scarborough, Co.— the company currently clearing in Weelaunee Cox Foundation— owners of ATL news media https://t.co/HJ5XfOIOfk” / Twitter
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