On Tuesday evening, the University of Connecticut’s UNCHAIN club sponsored a panel discussion around the Stop Cop City movement and the struggle for abolition.
The Stop Cop City movement highlights inequities against Black people in Atlanta in regards to mass policing and development, the Stop Cop City website explains.
“On one side are the powerful political and economic elites who want to bulldoze hundreds of acres of beautiful natural space and replace it with a massive police militarization compound,” political science Ph.D. Candidate at UConn Benjamin Stumpf said. “And on the other side is a diverse and beloved community of activists, locals, outsiders, community organizers, elders, children, workers and many others who have come together to defend this valued natural space from destruction and to stop the tide of police militarization.”
Although the movement focuses on issues in Atlanta, supporters have spread concerns throughout the nation, including in Connecticut.
In August the group began gaining attention with a book table about the movement in Connecticut, Evan Fraze, 350CT and Stop Cop City CT Activist explained. A few months later there was a film screening. And eventually things like vigils for victims and coalition meetings throughout the state began.
“Myself and some other people wanted to bring attention to Connecticut about the Stop Cop City movement that originates in the metro Atlanta area,” Fraze said.
UNCHAIN is a socialist group and club at UConn that seeks to educate and promote ideas they support, the UConn UNCHAIN Instagram explained.
“UNCHAIN is an inspiring and active group of undergraduates who share a vision for a more just, equitable, peaceful and ecologically sustainable world,” Stumpf said.
The group’s parallel beliefs with the Stop Cop City movement made them an ideal partner for Tuesday’s event.
“UConn UNCHAIN had been participating in the statewide coalition so it was pretty natural to do an event with them,” Fraze said.
Fraze stated that the event at UConn was a success.
“It was a great turnout. There were a lot of graduate and undergraduate students there. I thought the discussion was very good and that people were excited to be there,” Fraze said.
For those who were not able to attend the event, there is action that can be taken, Stumpf explained.
“Students at UConn should start by educating themselves and their peers on the relationship between the climate crisis, racism, colonialism and policing, as well as the specifics of the fight against Cop City and in defense of the Weelaunee Forest,” Stumpf said.