Groups Call on Atlanta Mayor to Stop Sending APD Officers to Middle East for Training
(ATLANTA, GA – 7/27/17) Members of Georgia’s Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities plan to unite on Friday, July 28th, at 5 p.m. for an interfaith prayer and rally outside Atlanta’s Israeli consulate.
During the event, a diverse line up of faith leaders and activists plan to call upon the City of Atlanta to stop sending Atlanta Police Department officers to the Middle East for training in police tactics. Speakers also plan to offer multi-faith prayers for peace, and to deliver a letter to the Israeli consulate.
Over the past two weeks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government prevented worshipers from freely attending prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque, installing metal detectors and other security measures at the house of worship considered sacred by Muslims. Israeli soldiers subsequently dispersed Palestinian protesters by shooting live ammunition, unleashing attack dogs, and firing tear gas, killing several Palestinian youth.
“When we saw Israeli soldiers targeting Palestinian demonstrators with gunfire, tear gas, batons, and attack dogs, the violence reminded us of the oppression that African-American demonstrators experienced during the Civil Rights Movement,” organizers said in a statement. “The United States should not fund such injustice with taxpayer dollars, nor should Atlanta’s police department receive training in these tactics.”
The City of Atlanta sends Atlanta Police Department officers overseas to Israel to receive training as part of the GILEE program. Local activists, including Black Lives Matter Atlanta, have previously objected to this program.
“The City of Atlanta should no longer send its police officers to the Middle East for training from foreign nations that engage in brutality,” organizers said. “Atlanta law enforcement must learn how to protect and serve our city, not how to occupy and oppress it. Tanks, rubber bullets, tear gas, and attack dogs have no place on the streets of Atlanta.”
What: An Interfaith Prayer & Rally for Peace and Justice in the Holy Land
When: Friday, July 28, 2017 at 5 pm
Where: The Israeli Consulate, 1100 Spring Street, Atlanta, GA
Event Sponsors Include:
- Jewish Voice for Peace (Atlanta Chapter)
- CAIR Georgia
- Georgia Green Party
- Black Lives Matter Atlanta
- Project South
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Atlanta
- Southerners on New Ground (SONG)
- Street Groomers
- American Friends Service Committee
- Metro Atlanta Chapter of the Democratic Socialist of America
- Al Quds Atlanta
- Kairos Mission Group of Oakhurst Baptist Church
CONTACTS: Connie Sosnoff, Jewish Voice for Peace, 404-630-9484. Ruwa Romman, Communications Director, CAIR-Georgia, 678-697-9684, Rromman@cair.com