This week, we dig into the pre-trial hearings and jury selection for Ayla King, Stop Cop City movement’s first and only co-defendant so far to be granted a speedy trial. We’re joined by Silver, an on-the-ground correspondent among many in Atlanta focused on supporting the collective defense against the State of Georgia’s RICO indictment. Stay tuned for future coverage of the trials as they unfold.
We will be focusing on the pretrial proceedings of defendant Ayla King, who has bravely flexed their right to a speedy trial and whose case we will be following more in-depth when opening arguments begin on January 10th. To help us unpack some of the media and legal intricacies in this case we will hear from Jewel, a North Carolina based lawyer (member of NLG Mass Defense) followed by an interview with Matt from Atlanta Community Press Collective. Jewel will help us understand some of the strategy of exercising a right to speedy trial while Matt will speak as one of the only members of local media to actively cover jury selection. The full episode can be heard here.
First, some background to this case for listeners less familiar:
- On August 29th the State of Georgia filed an indictment against 61 people in the movement to Stop Cop City and defend Weelaunee people’s park. The state alleges that music festival attendees and protestors engaged in racketeering, domestic terrorism, arson and money laundering– all as part of a so called mob conspiracy to halt construction of the massively unpopular expansion of police traning grounds in Southeast Atlanta– also known as Cop City.
- This indictment follows a years-long, powerful and popular struggle against the city of Atlanta and their Police Foundation’s attempts to build the 90 million dollar training grounds. The expansion of this site not only follows the widespread anti-police movements of 2020 but further bolsters US backed military training such the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (aka GILEE) – a direct exhange program between Atlanta police and the Israeli Occupational Forces, who are currently waging genocide in the occupied Gaza strip of Palestine.
- We have experienced the unrelenting and escalating criminal charges (such as domestic terrorism charges for so called trespassing on public land, racketeering charges for mutual aid), raids of collective organizing and healing spaces, and even the assassination of a beloved comrade, Tortuguita. Not only have these atrocities failed to stop the movement against Cop City, but they have inspired renewed resistance and solidarity from across the country and across the world.
Noise Demo on NYE at Buncombe Jail
If you’re around Asheville on Sunday, December 31st, you’re invited by a coalition of abolitionist crews to attend the New Years Noise Demo, gathering at 7pm at the ampitheater at 630 Pack Square and to bring things for making some noise. The Asheville Community Bail Fund will be selling Certain Days Calendars and folks will also be bailing out and welcoming folks to start their new year outside the walls of the Buncombe County Detention Center. It’s a great event to meet folks and learn about local projects dreaming of and working towards a future without prisons! More at Blue Ridge ABC’s website.
If you’re in another area of Turtle Island, you can scan your social media for noise demos to participate in or make one up yourself. Often there’s a list of things to get involved in available at ItsGoingDown.Org
Anticapitalist Bookfair in Small Town Oregon
If you’re in the Corvallis, Oregon area in early January, the folks organizing the Heart of the Valley Anti-Capitalist Bookfair have announced their programming and entertainment schedule for events January 19th to 21st. A few of our past guests on The Final Straw are listed there if you want to brush up on the topics. More info at Hotvbookfair.noblogs.org
Eric King in Halfway House
Anarchist and antifascist prisoner, Eric King, has been released to a halfway house as he finishes the last portion of his nearly-decade-long incarceration. You can donate to his post-release fundraiser via his GoFundMe, read updates and words from Eric at SupportEricKing.org or on Instagram
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