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Atlanta Officials Refuse To Verify Signatures For Stop Cop City Petition

The efforts of the Stop Cop City movement are facing yet another setback. The coalition in charge of garnering signatures to put the cop training facility’s construction to a vote claims that Atlanta officials are refusing to verify that they have enough.

The Vote to Stop Cop City Coalition Georgia claims it has gathered over 116,000 signatures, well over the roughly 58,000 required to secure an Atlanta citizens vote on the matter, NBC News reports. However, a stipulation regarding the deadline to garner them has the movement at a standstill.

According to the officials, the advocacy group missed the Aug. 21 deadline to turn the lists in. Activists said the deadline was actually extended to September, but a current pause on the official date extension by an appellate court judge has the legal change in question.

“This is yet another disgraceful push by the city to stonewall democracy, showing that Mayor (Andre) Dickens and the City of Atlanta fear the power of their constituents,” the coalition said in a statement. “The City was notified on Thursday of our intention to submit, yet was too cowardly to release any response, or even respond to our email, until after we arrived.”

This news comes after the RICO indictment of 61 advocates involved in the Stop Cop City protests. In response, faith leaders from a local branch of the Universalist Unitarian Church chained themselves to a bulldozer in solidarity with the indicted. They were also taken into custody, with possible charges to follow.

Regarding the petition, the coalition remains determined to be heard. The group’s aim is to ensure citizens in Atlanta have a say on the facility being constructed in a predominately Black neighborhood as well as its environmental ramifications.

Officials assert they won’t initiate the verification process until a determination is reached regarding the legality of the deadline extension. An attorney representing the state contends that it does not possess the “discretion” to proceed until this matter is resolved.

RELATED CONTENT: ATL Faith Leaders Detained After Protest To Defy Stop Cop City RICO