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Beyond Cop Cities

Beyond Cop Cities

Dismantling State and Corporate-Funded Armies and Prisons

Edited by Joy James

What happens when the police becomes an army?

Since 1997, the US Department of Defense has transferred more than $7.2bn in military equipment to law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, the DOD is legally required to make various items of equipment available to local police and school police departments, from flashlights and sandbags, to grenade launchers and armored vehicles. This militarisation has, unsurprisingly, been shown to unjustly impact on Black communities and is associated with increased killings by police . No wonder there have been calls to 'defund the police' echoing across the streets of America.

In Beyond Cop Cities, Joy James and fellow contributors take these calls one step further, highlighting the Stop Cop City movement - one of the most vibrant in the US today. Linking anti-policing and racial justice movement with radical ecological 'forest defender' activism, the Stop Cop City campaign is a grass roots movement which aims to push back on police militarisation by blocking the construction of the Atlanta's Police Public Safety Training Center.

Sharp and concise, including the voices of key figures in the movement along with the mother of murdered activist 'Tortuguita' (shot and killed by Georgia police while protesting), this collection of vital and politically sophisticated writings capture a moment in time, demanding a safer, less brutal, future.

Joy James, Ebenezer Fitch Professor of the Humanities at Williams College, is a political philosopher who works with organizers. She is editor of The Angela Y. Davis Reader; Imprisoned Intellectuals; and co-editor of The Black Feminist Reader. James's recent books include In Pursuit of Revolutionary Love; New Bones Abolition: Captive Maternal Agency and the (After)Life of Erica Garner; and Contextualizing Angela Davis: The Agency and Identity of an Icon. Her edited volumes with Pluto include ENGAGE: Indigenous, Black, Afro-Indigenous Futures.

'One of the most brilliant, courageous visionaries of our time. If you don’t know Sister Joy James check her out!'

- Cornel West

'The beautiful minds of Joy James and Kalonji Jama Changa come together to form this seminal work. Weaving in art, history, the past and present, Beyond Cop Cities bears a timeless quality. In this age of mounting repression, it is both a prophetic work and constant companion. Serving as a blueprint, it traces the onslaught of the colonial carceral and military state in which citizens, civilians, captives, and organizers transform sites of war, plantations, and enslavement into places of liberation—or the fire next time.'

- Jenipher R. Jones, Esq., A People's Law Office/For the People, Chair of the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee


1. The Rubik’s Cube of Cop City: The Crisis of Colonized Cities and State Criminality, by Joy James and Kalonji Jama Changa
2. Urban Warfare and Corporate-Funded Armies: Cop City as a Chapter in the Long History of U.S. Colonialism, by Joy James and Kalonji Jama Changa
3.Letter of Concern to Black Clergy Regarding “Cop City”, by Reverend Matthew V. Johnson and Joy James
4.Resisting Cop City Corporate and Clergy Colonizers, by Fergie Chambers, Matt Johnson, Kalonji Changa, and Joy James
5. Tortuguita’s Mother Speaks: Belkis Teran: BPM/RSTV Interview with Kalonji Changa

6. Combat Police Terror, by Dhoruba bin Wahad and Kalonji Changa
7.Assassination Attempts against Mumia Abu-Jamal, by Pam Africa, Noel Hanrahan, Ricardo Alvarez, Kalonji Changa, and Joy James
8.How Prison Officials Manufactured Gangs and Gang Wars in Virginia’s Prisons, by Kevin “Rashid” Johnson
9.The Pendleton 2 Defense Committee
Conclusion, by Joy James
“We Remember the Attempts to be Free: Part 3”, by James Jones

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Published by Pluto Press in Aug 2024
Paperback ISBN: 9780745350486
eBook ISBN: 9780745350493

111mm x 178mm