With a referendum against the police facility in the works, Atlanta is making sure it won’t be valid. Activists have other ways to fight.

by Natasha Lennard, The Intercept

The City of Atlanta is signaling its intention to preemptively invalidate a referendum campaign to stop the construction of a vast police training facility — “Cop City” — on Atlanta forest land.

A federal court filing late last week, made on behalf of the city by attorneys from elite Atlanta law firm Bondurant Mixson & Elmore, calls the effort to put a Cop City referendum on the November ballot “invalid” and “futile.” Meanwhile, organizers are still gathering the necessary 70,000 signatures to move forward with the petition.

Heat wave over a city skyline

The city’s filing is not a direct challenge to the entire referendum campaign, but it makes clear that Atlanta officials will act to nullify the democratic effort in court, should organizers succeed in getting Cop City on the ballot.

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