FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Attention: Mayor Andre Dickens and the Atlanta City Council
Andre Dickens, Mayor and the Atlanta City Council
68 Mitchell St SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Contemporary Mvskoke People are now making the journey back to our homelands, and hereby give notice to Mayor Andre Dicken, the Atlanta City Council, the Atlanta Police Department, the Atlanta Police Foundation,the Dekalb County Sheriff’s office, and so-called “Cop City” that you must immediately vacate Mvskoke homelands and cease violence and policing of Indigenous and Black people in Mvskoke lands. We also ask for an indepedent investigation into the assassination of our relative Tortuguita and that the trumped up charges be dropped against Weelaunee Forest defenders.
According to the history of Mvskoke Peoples, we originated in so-called Georgia near the Ocese Creek in the valley of the Ocmulgee River. As individual Tribal Nations, we lived as stewards and in relationship to this land for more than 13,000 years until the illegitimate state of Georgia negotiated with the tyrant Andrew Jackson for the militarized forced removal of Mvskokes and Cherokee relatives to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. The state of Georgia has been operating illegitimately and without the consent of its original peoples ever since.
Georgia is the birthplace of oppressive policing, originating with Indigenous genocide and the Trail of Tears and the capture and enslavement of African descendants seeking freedom. Our ancestors who are buried here continue to suffer while the City of Atlanta and the State of Georgia deploy the very same escalated militarized tactics against Black, Indigenous and people of the global majority that were used in Indigenous genocide and Black enslavement. The state and the City of Atlanta have a historical, moral, and legal obligation to cease the clearing of trees and land and to cease developing militarized weaponized policing.
Since the 1832 Trail of Tears, where nearly half of our people were brutally murdered by the predecessors of the very same entities seeking to establish a massive “cop city,” the colonial presence of the state and local governments of Georgia and police have unjustly denied Mvskoke people access to our homelands. As ceremonial people, we have come home to gather medicines, have ceremony, and be welcomed by our ancestors. This is impossible for us when Atlanta and Dekalb County undertake plans to build a massively oppressive militarized policing facility within what is known as the Weelaunee forest (paying homage to the Mvskoke description of the South River, Ue Lane or “yellow water”). For us as Mvskoke peoples to have a safe homeland to return to, the “cop city” project must immediately be stopped. Cop city cannot be built in the Weelaunee forest, in the city of Atlanta, in the state of Georgia or anywhere in the Mvskoke homelands. Cop city cannot be built at all.
As the original relatives of this land and as ceremonial Mvskoke people, we stand in solidarity with the Black residents of Atlanta in opposition to continued genocide via cop city.
Mekko Chebon, Mvskoke Ceremonial Leader
T. Gouge (Ecovlke)
Jordan Harmon, Mvskoke Creek, Ceyaha descendant
Reverend Keyanna Jones
Kauma Franklin, Community Movement Builders
Yonasda Lonewolf, Indigenous Peoples Movement