Whereas, the proposed construction of “Cop City,” a massive police training center in Atlanta, Georgia, designed to provide simulations for the suppression of urban insurrection and bring together police training forces from across the U.S. and internationally, has sparked widespread protest and outrage in Atlanta and throughout the United States, and

Whereas, protesters have highlighted the dangers that increased and militarized policing poses to marginalized communities and people of color as well as the environmental degradation caused by the destruction of the surrounding forest to build Cop City, and

Whereas, one protester, Tortuguita, was shot dead by police as he participated in a forest defense protest, and

Whereas, 23 people were arrested at a music festival against Cop City, with many of them charged with domestic terrorism, and

Whereas, three people who are part of the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, a bail fund providing funds for people to be bailed out of jail while protesting Cop City, were then arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Atlanta Police in an attempt to suppress the protests, and

Whereas, the use of domestic terrorism law and the attack on bail funds to suppress protesters violates both the U.S. Constitution and the U.S.’ obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and

Whereas, the United States federal government has also expanded its use of FARA, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, in several cases that have primarily targeted Black liberation activists and Chinese Americans working for peace with China, and

Whereas, these cases include those of the African People’s Socialist Party and the Uhuru Movement, where three individuals have been charged with acting as foreign agents of Russia based on weak allegations like a small donation and the provision of airline tickets, and

Whereas, this also includes the indictment and arrest of Boston-area trade unionist Li Tang “Henry” Liang, a Chinese American activist and union member who has advocated for peace between the US and China; and

Whereas, there is a long history of using FARA and similar allegations to repress organizers in the United States seeking peace and justice, including the 1951 prosecution of W.E.B. DuBois and the prosecution of the Cuban Five, and

Whereas, these prosecutions create a chilling effect for internationalist and anti-imperialist organizing in the United States, particularly for those challenging U.S. unilateral coercive measures against Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Iran, Syria,  Zimbabwe and other targeted nations, in addition to those seeking peace with Russia, China and other nations;

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the International Association of Democratic Lawyers calls for the immediate release of all Cop City arrestees and the dropping of all charges against Stop Cop City and Atlanta Solidarity fund activists and organizers, and

Be it further resolved, that the IADL joins in the people’s movement in expressing our opposition to the construction of Cop City in Atlanta, and

Be it further resolved, that the IADL raises serious concerns about the rising use of FARA by the U.S. government to target political dissent and in particular, anti-imperialist and anti-war organizing and communication, and

Be it further resolved, that the IADL calls for the dropping of charges against the Uhuru/APSP 3 and against Li Tang “Henry” Liang and an end to the use of FARA to target political activism working for Black liberation, peace with Russia, peace with China, advancing an anti-imperialist program and other international issues at odds with U.S. foreign policy and unilateral coercive measures, and

Be it finally resolved that the IADL will cooperate with other organizations to strengthen and support the legal defense of activists unjustly charged with FARA violations, domestic terrorism  charges and other politically motivated prosecutions in the United States.

Adopted by the IADL Council

2 July 2023


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