As a UU, I have always believed in the power of taking collective action to demand social change.  One of the most interesting parts of the GA Business meetings is the process of proposing and affirming Actions of Immediate Witness (AIW).  An AIW is a statement about a significant action, event, or development in the world that necessitates immediate engagement and action among UU member congregations and groups.  This year GA delegates affirmed three AIWs:  Stop Cop City, Protect the Dreamers, and Organizing for Health Equity.

This article is highlighting Stop Cop City.  “Cop City” is a $90 million militarized urban warfare training complex, proposed by the Atlanta Police Foundation, in partnership with the Atlanta City Government and a committee of more than 40 corporate donors. The planned site is in the heart of a predominantly Black neighborhood and will destroy 381 acres of remaining green space in Atlanta.

This AIW calls on all UUs to join ongoing organizing efforts to put a stop to this project.  Congregations across the country are being asked to take action by becoming involved in phone drives and email campaigns, divesting from banks funding Cop City construction, providing spiritual care and advocacy on behalf of protestors and survivors of police violence, and continually engaging in issues of environmental justice, policing, and prison abolition.  For more information about this AIW:  https://www.uua.org/files/2023-06/Stop%20Cop%20City%20AIW.pdf

So, what can UUCW members do?  First, sign up for this online educational event offered by the UUA’s Side with Love Action Center on August 3, 2023, from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm ET (6 p.m.-7 p.m. our time).  If you can’t participate on that date, you can still sign up to watch a recording.  This event will provide background on Cop City and why all UUs around the country need to take action to Stop Cop City and other efforts to increase militarization of public safety.  To register, https://secure.everyaction.com/P6mECF41Xkq6-p1YT1hUJA2

Second, educate yourself and join WISDOM, MICAH and SOPHIA’s efforts in transformation justice and prison reform.  Three resources:

https://wisdomwisconsin.org/transformational-justice- see the report on Wisdom’s blueprint to end mass incarceration

https://micahmke.org/criminal-justice-prison-reform/

https://www.sophiawaukesha.org/task-forces/criminal-justice-reform

GA Delegate
Karen Zimmerman