What follows is the third entry in a series of daily dispatches from a comrade who is attending the Weelaunee Summer Week of Action (June 24-July 1) in Atlanta, Georgia:
The morning began with a trip to South Bend Commons for a pop-up coffee shop. The SBC is an autonomous space in the Atlanta area that hosts a variety of social events and community-based projects. There's a radical lending library featuring anarchist literature, zines, a print space, a kitchen, and an arcade machine of questionable functionality. The black-and-white checkered tile floors suggest a possible previous life as a diner or pizzeria. The space passed near-convincingly as a real café--from the din of conversation to the smell of freshly-brewed coffee--for the few hours we spent there visiting with friends and acquaintances.
In the evening, we found ourselves back at Brownwood Park for a talk on movement history and a film screening of Lizzie Borden's 1983 revolutionary classic Born in Flames. The attempted police intimidation seen on Saturday had largely retreated. Cruisers still rolled by, our enemies keen to make their presence known. But in the subsequent days, there hasn't been a repeat of Saturday's events. The movement undeterred, the park has closed each night without event.
A new rhythm is developing around this week of action. More and more people continue to trickle into town: some have experience with previous weeks of action while for others, this is their first time being a part of this movement. Together, they're finding ways to make the week come together, to learn from one another, to keep the heart of this movement beating and propel it forward. Yet, as this happens, there's a palpable underlying tension and yearning: This place is not Weelaunee. The zone to be defended is elsewhere.
The Weelaunee Forest--the central physical space of the Stop Cop City campaign, where previous weeks of action took place--is held hostage by a heavy police presence. One of the sacrifices made as the movement crested it's last wave was the temporary loss of that contested zone. Now, the movement is seeking a tactical pivot that reminds us that this struggle transcends just one physical space. Still, this doesn't quell the longing for the forest where we have all experienced so much unmitigated collective joy and seen so much bravery.
"The forest is everywhere, but does that necessarily mean we've found it?"
What I see in the cups of coffee made by and shared with friends, the passionate discussions, and the late-night movie screenings is this search for the forest-beyond-the-forest.