Atlanta Public Safety Training Center Protesters Deliver a Petition, but There's One Small Problem

AP Photo/Alex Slitz

The group of people protesting the City of Atlanta’s plan to build a public safety training center on the site of an old prison farm east of the city have tried violence to make their voices heard, but they haven’t intimidated local and state authorities.


Alongside the domestic terrorism that has taken place, some protesters have tried a different tactic: gathering signatures on a petition to bring a vote on the training center to this year’s ballot. WSB Radio reports that a group of 100 opponents gathered at Atlanta City Hall with what they say are 116,000 signatures of people who want the residents of Atlanta to halt construction until the voters can have their say.

“We’re certain of the fact that many of the people we talked to were unclear, unaware or did not quite understand the entirety of the process, what this facility means and who the facility would be used for,” protest organizer John Taylor told WSB.

There’s just one slight problem with the petition. The organizers delivered it to City Hall past the deadline, according to city attorney Robert Ashe.

“The city is trying its hardest to obey state law, to obey its own code, and to be able to accommodate petitioners and their desire to turn them in today, but I think everyone in Atlanta shares an interest to see the law followed,” Ashe said.

The protest group says that a judge granted an extension to get the signatures turned in.


“We followed a federal judge’s ruling and did what we were supposed to do. We were given a 60-day extension. When we heard there was a stay on the 60-day extension, we immediately gathered the signatures and prepared them to turn them in,” Taylor claimed.

Related: Over 60 Domestic Terrorists Face RICO Charges Over Protests Against ‘Cop City’

What this means for the status of the petition is unclear at this time, although you can be sure that some left-wing politicians will try to make sure the petition goes through anyway.

Far-left Councilmember Liliana Bakhitiari issued a statement in favor of the petition:

Today, organizers submitted the referendum petition to put Atlanta’s public safety training facility on the ballot. Throughout the debate over this facility, the City has asked that the public protest through democratic methods. The people listened, mobilized, and succeeded in submitting approximately 115,000 signatures. This is history in the making—and I must ask, which side of history do we want to be on?

As an elected official, it is my responsibility to encourage and support the democratic process, in all its forms, and I am deeply disturbed over [the] lack of transparency and procedural barriers that have marred the public’s ability to petition their government for redress.

As an Atlantan standing on the shoulders of civil rights legends, it is my duty to honor that legacy. Not just with words, but with action. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, this ballot referendum will provide every Atlanta voter the opportunity to make their voice heard. I also believe that this is a much-needed step in trying to build back community trust, and that is a win for all of Atlanta.


It’s not hard to imagine that Atlanta’s Democrats could give in and put the training center on the ballot. If so, hopefully, Atlanta’s voters will use common sense, do the right thing, and vote in favor of a project that will benefit the city’s residents and make Atlanta safer for everyone.



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