January 19, 2023

350.org Responds to Police Murder of an Atlanta Forest Defender

Washington D.C. — The Atlanta Police Foundation — a private entity — received governmental clearance to begin destroying Weelaunee Forest to build “Cop City” over the objections of local residents. After exhausting legal channels, organizers moved into the forest, occupying trees and slowing down construction. Yesterday, police killed Manuel Teran, known as Tortuguita, who was camping in a public park to defend the Weelaunee Forest.

Jeff Ordower, 350.org’s North America Director, responded: 

“With heavy hearts, we stand with the Atlanta Forest Defenders and all of those who defend the land, the water, and the planet. Tortuguita’s “crime” was defending a forest in the heart of Atlanta—yet police moved in full force to evict the encampment, using their usual litany of brutal tactics. As we’ve seen all too often with police brutality, we can expect the usual false claims of ‘self-defense,’ coupled with an attempt to smear the victim and movement. Our movement will continue to stand up for intersectional justice—for the people and the planet.”


Press Contact: Melanie Smith, [email protected]