In Atlanta, Georgia, the city government is attempting to destroy the last remaining stretch of forest in order to build a vast training center for police. For two years now, a vibrant self-organized movement has mobilized to defend the forest, despite the police doling out terrorism charges indiscriminately and utilizing lethal violence to protect their cash cow. The latest phase of this movement hinges on an effort to persuade insurance providers who are providing coverage to the project that such conduct is unworthy of them. Foremost among these insurance providers is the Scottsdale Insurance Company.
But who is located in Scottsdale, Arizona?
There’s Greenpeace, of course, which defeated a frivolous RICO case similar to the one that Atlanta prosecutors are threatening to bring against those mobilizing to protect the forest. There are Indigenous activists, individual police abolitionists, and probably some punks, too. But many other groups should be concerned about Cop City, which will be used to train militarized police around the country. Towards that end, we present a series of appeals addressed to various community organizations in the vicinity of the Scottsdale Insurance Company in Arizona.
The Satanic Temple of Arizona
We have admired your organization from afar for some time now. The Baphomet statue is iconic, of course, but your efforts to organize street-level protection for Muslims in Minneapolis earned you our esteem. Thank you for pushing back against Christian hegemony and authoritarianism in general.
There is something all-too-godly brewing in Atlanta—an almighty highness threatening a wild, free forest. Cop City is coming, killing opponents and destroying wilderness. The liability insurance provider for the project is Scottsdale Insurance Company, based in Scottsdale, Arizona. If Scottsdale Insurance Company chose to boycott Cop City for its human and ecological brutality, construction would come to a standstill, at least until another insurer was found for this unusually risky, unpopular project. Anarchists, such as ourselves, desire to Stop Cop City and He Who Props Cop City.
“We have come to discuss your coverage of the Atlanta Police Foundation’s forest destruction project. May we have a word?”
We laud your four main components: (1) Satanism as a religious movement. (2) Civic actions through activism. (3) Charitable works. (4) Community building for Satanists and allies. Many of our networks have also championed complementary quadrupointed unity. Take the points of unity of Anti-Racist Action, for example:
- We go where they go;
- We don’t rely on the cops or courts to do our work for us;
- Non-sectarian defense of other anti-fascists; and
- Support for abortion rights and reproductive freedom.
People’s Global Action, likewise, summarized their interpretation of Zapatismo in five hallmarks.
We are not religious ourselves, but we respect a variety of religious movements. We don’t believe in the power of gods, but movements of defiant people bound for glory inspire us:
- The MOVE Organization’s decades of revolutionary self-defense and mutual caretaking of its members, guided by its righteous belief in the value of all life: human being, ant, weed, river, or wind.
- The 16th-century Anabaptist revolutionaries sought to “throw their tower to the ground!” Proclaiming omnia sunt communia (“All things in common”), they set out to redistribute riches “as occasion requires, according to the several necessities of all.”
- John Brown, Taqwacore, Taoism, liberation theology, Catholic Workers, you get it.
We applaud your religious movement for promoting the values of empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason, rejection of tyrannical authority, and noble pursuits guided by individual will.
That is why we invite you to hold a public demonization of the Scottsdale Insurance Company. Ideally, you would announce a time and date so that other opponents of Cop City and satanic allies around the southwest can join.
What we are proposing may sound like a demonstration, but the action should go far beyond a simple utilization of the First Amendment. We intend no harm to any individual workers of the Scottsdale Insurance Company, of course, but we believe that the consequences of their employer’s decision to protect a destructive, tyrannical project like Cop City should not be borne solely by the forest and its defenders. We know of no other organization near Scottsdale, Arizona capable of demonizing the Scottsdale Insurance Company with curses, hauntings, or other spiritual afflictions powerful enough to persuade the company to drop its Cop City contract.
The struggle against Cop City has included considerable interfaith opposition, but as far as we are aware, a public demonization of the Scottsdale Insurance Company would mark the grand debut of organized Satanism in the movement. Individual Satanists have been involved for some time already, in accordance with their belief in individualist pursuits of noble will, but a formal public intervention would accomplish more.
Permit us to present our case. These are the benefits we can see to your taking this step:
(1) Satanism as a religious movement
By organizing a public demonization of the Scottsdale Insurance Company, Satanism will communicate its values as a religious movement, and show its ability to actualize one’s will to combat Church and State oppression.
(2) A civic action through activism
A public, organized demonization against Cop City will benefit the people of Atlanta, but it will also protect civilians all around the world, since Cop City plans to cut a profit by serving a state-of-the-art police product to governments everywhere. According to one document, over 40% of the cops who stand to benefit from Cop City will hail from outside the Atlanta area. Talk about outside agitators!
(3) Include a charitable work
In your demonization, you could charitably plant a tree for Tortuguita, the forest defender shot dead by Georgia State Patrol in December. Their mother and brother have invited supporters to honor Tort’s memory by planting a tree.
(4) Build community for Satanists and allies
A public demonization of the Scottsdale Insurance Company is an excellent way to build alliances with those in your community who also reject tyrannical authority. According to one statement of solidarity, there are already many opponents of Cop City in your region, including the Center for Biological Diversity, the Feminist Bird Club, and the National Lawyers Guild.
We know how much courage it takes to simply maintain an outspoken, anti-authoritarian organization. We too receive death threats, are caricatured on account of our beliefs, and face the censoring of our means of communication. We also know how exhilarating it is to fight back against centuries of dogma that emphasize the virtue of human subservience to power—and we know that you know it too.
No gods, no masters, no Cop City.
Lupercalia not law enforcement.
The ‘los and ‘lettes have much to offer the struggalo against Cop City. There is no need to enumerate the decades of anti-police anthems that have poured forth from the dark carnival as if out of an over-carbonated 3-liter of Faygo. We know y’all are as real as your distaste for the police.
We know. Because we hit the streets with you at the Juggalo March on Washington. The RICO charges that prosecutors are threatening to bring against the Stop Cop City movement are akin to the gang enhancements Juggalos face just for flying a hatchetman flag. In fact, the RICO threat against the Stop Cop City movement arose in the shadow of the ongoing YSL RICO case in Atlanta.
We have been dismayed to observe the dissolution of Juggalo culture in the desert over the last decade, no doubt hastened by the FBI’s persecution of Juggalos since 2011. The Arizona Juggalos Podcast has faded away, as has the southwestern wicked clown clearinghouse DesertJuggalos.com.
“The second little piggy, his house is made of brick / And this little piggy is a mother fucking dick / He lays down his rules and reads you your rights / In that funny lookin’ car with the little blinking lights.”
However, we know that even if the public face of the dark carnival has disappeared, Juggalo culture is alive in the southwest. We know. Because we were there at the wicked clown weekender last February in Arizona, moved by the flight of Faygo bottles amid chants of “FA-MI-LY.” We witnessed the dignity that the ‘los and ‘lettes displayed leaving the theater, confronted by a force of threatening police.
State repression has real consequences, and it might be easier for an organization like the Satanic Temple to organize a demonstration than for a family like yours to come out and fly that hatchetman high against the richie piggies who insure Cop City. However, that should not stop every ‘lo and ‘lette in the desert from calling Scottsdale Insurance Company at 480-365-4000 and spitting bars hotter than Scottsdale asphalt on a sunny day in July.
Hit ’em with original shit, your favorite ICP line, or school the Scottsdale Insurance Company on Cop City’s role in the nefarious axis between neoliberal impoverishment, the criminalization of street organizations, and the prison-industrial complex.
For a dark carnival in the shade of the Weelaunee Forest,
Your anarchist comrades.
March For Our Lives, Phoenix
We are sincere when addressing the Satanic Temple and Desert Juggalos, and we will extend you the same sincerity: we’ve been disappointed by your organizing. That’s why we didn’t go to your march last year.
The surge of spontaneous, autonomous student walkouts in the wake of the Parkland shooting inspired us. It represented the most powerful force that the capitalist gun industry has faced in decades. Advertisers stopped funding NRA TV; industry lobbyists had to answer for their profiteering; suddenly, everyone was talking about the shootings. We continued to march by your side even as the movement was coopted by Democratic Party politicking. Democrat politicians prioritized an electoral strategy that excluded the disenfranchised youth who are most immediately endangered by school gun violence, turning participants away from the kind of direct pressure on manufacturers that could address the problem at its root.
Now, Democratic Party politicians are at the front of the push to destroy the Weelaunee Forest in Atlanta in order to build Cop City. While they claim that concentrating guns in the hands of militarized police will protect us, we can see from what happened in Uvalde that police represent a false solution to gun violence.
From Parkland and Uvalde to Atlanta, police have worked out a scheme to profit on the violence in our society. Rather than doing anything to prevent mass shootings, they let them occur, one after another, and use each one as an excuse to demand more resources for themselves and the profiteers who support them. Putting cops in schools doesn’t make them safer. It just increases the tensions and violence in our society, not to mention the number of weapons. By the same token, channeling millions of dollars to cops will not make our society any safer.
The Cop City project illustrates this clearly enough. The forest that is slated to be turned into Cop City already contains a police firing range, and the largest target at the police firing range is a school bus. Cops practice their marksmanship shooting at a school bus. Police seeking to evict activists who were occupying the forest have already shot and killed one young forest defender, Tortuguita. Recent autopsy results show that Tortuguita’s hands were raised in the air when the police opened fire. Police are a fundamental part of gun violence, not a solution to it.
We know that the official March For Our Lives organization will never stand up to the police or the politicians who want to channel more funds and guns to them rather than dealing with the root causes of gun violence. But we call on individual participants in March For Our Lives, Phoenix to join in the struggle against armed, state-sanctioned violence. One thing you can do right now is to call the Scottsdale Insurance Company at 480-365-4000 and let them know that you do not approve of their decision to insure Cop City.